Stay Healthy this Holiday

As the holidays draw closer, the excitement of spending time with loved ones is contagious, but we can’t deny the potential effect all of the delicious and tempting foods can have on our waistlines.

Moderation is key to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying the occasional treat. [Tweet this!]

During the holidays, it can be more challenging than ever to stay in control when there are endless holiday parties and festivities that can lead you astray. Let’s face it, these parties are filled to the brim with holiday cookies, festive drinks and savory home-cooked meals. How can you possibly say no?

While you may not be able to maintain self-control in all areas of your health during the month of December, we’re going to challenge you to take one positive step to staying healthy. Whether you challenge yourself to maintain a routine of running in the morning or to drink your daily-recommended intake of water, a challenge can help keep you focused on your health throughout the holidays. Below, we will share a few challenge ideas to get you started.

1. Sign-up for a Race

Setting a goal to run throughout the week can be difficult to maintain. By setting a more specific goal like running your first half-marathon at the Pittsburgh Marathon this May, you will automatically be more diligent about training because you have a set goal that you want to reach. There are numerous online resources for runners of all levels – beginners, intermediate, advanced – to help prepare for any race. One of our favorites is the Hal Higdon Training Programs. Apps can also be very useful in training. Many people swear by the Couch to 5k app that provides time interval runs for those who are new to running.

2. Bake Healthy Recipes

Over the last few years, blogs upon blogs have been popping up with healthy alternatives to almost every holiday delicacy. For those of you who like to bake, this can be an opportunity to exercise those baking skills by spinning your traditional holiday meals into a healthy alternatives that can be enjoyed by family and friends. Whether you choose to cook gluten-free or sugar-free, there are many resources available to help.

For those of you interested in making it a goal to bake healthier alternatives to your holiday favorites, here are a few recipes to get you started.

3. Join a Reading Group

Okay, so we may have intrigued you when we mentioned waistlines, but it’s also important to keep your brain healthy during this season. Not only can reading promote brain health, there have been studies that show reading books can decrease a person’s stress levels and their risk of Alzheimer’s disease while encouraging positive thinking. Joining a reading group can not only increase brain health, but it can also help you fortify new friendships and stay social−two incredibly important factors of staying healthy. Join an existing reading group or make it a goal to create your own!

4. Take time to slow down

It’s already December. How is it already December? We’re thinking it too. 2014 came and went, and it is hard to believe that it is almost 2015. This time of the year is always the most hectic. We run around getting ready for the holidays – shopping, decorating, cooking, preparing – and it can be a bit overwhelming. Even though it seems like there are not enough hours in the day for your busy schedule, let alone time to sit down and relax, we’re challenging you to find time.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “If you take care of yourself first, you’re better able to take care of those around you?” Well, it’s true. Placing time in your schedule for rest and relaxation is essential to staying healthy and well, sane during the holiday rush. By carving out 15 minutes to an hour in your day as “you-time,” you will give yourself that time to breathe, relax and reflect. Use this time to read, write, meditate, or spend time with a close friend over tea. It’s your time so use it in whatever makes you happiest.

5. Keep health a priority

When was the last time you had your chiropractic adjustment? What about the last time you visited your dental hygienist? We know that life gets busy, especially during the holidays. Make it a priority this December to focus on your health by maintaining your regular doctor visits. For the New Year, you can be a new healthy you, starting the year fresh, knowing that you have taken initiative to get on track to being the best, healthiest you, you can be. Start by giving us a call to schedule your appointment.

When creating reachable goals for health it is important to remember that incorporating fun and interesting activities for your personality is key. Face it, if you dislike reading and the last book you read was in, well, you really can’t even remember, than a reading group isn’t going to be for you. You’ll be dedicated for the first week or two, maybe even a month, and then you’ll be over it. Remember that health is the goal. This season, you can choose to take control of your health and make a small change that will have lasting effects to keeping you fit and healthy through the holidays.