Pilates reformer

Staying Healthy for the Holidays

Nothing can ruin the holidays more than feeling run down and sluggish, but getting sick at the most wonderful time of the year can be even worse. Not only can this time of year slow your health down, but with the many holiday gatherings this time of year, it’s even easier to spread illness, too.

Whether you plan to travel or stay close to home or go to several big gatherings or just one small one this holiday season, you can do a lot to keep yourself as healthy as possible. From using your Pilates reformer regularly to just following basic health practices, you can enjoy the holiday season and only spread cheer, not germs, this year to your friends and loved ones. Follow the tips in this post to keep yourself and those around you as healthy as possible.

Pilates reformer

Top Ten Health Tips for the Holidays

This time of year is all about makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice. So, since you’re probably busy with holiday shopping, baking, and traveling, we’ve done the heavy lifting and put together the best ways to beat the holiday funk and keep your health and spirits high this year. Keep this list of tips handy and follow them regularly to make these tips an established habit in your life. Doing so gives you a jump start to a safe and healthy holiday season and beyond.

  1. Exercise regularly. Yes, it’s tough to fit exercise in during the hustle and bustle this time of the year, but exercise offers tremendous physical and health benefits. You can put together a 12 days of fitness Pilates reformer routine to make your workouts feel more festive, or you can work in smaller spurts when you have pockets of time throughout the week. Whatever you do, maintaining physical activity can help you keep your stress levels low, keep you mood better regulated, and help you get more restful sleep. Even if you can’t fit in your normal workout, just keep moving. When you’re shopping, you can park farther away, take the stairs, and get in as many steps as you can. So just be creative and incorporate movement as much as possible into each day.
  2. Don’t skip meals. Eating fuels your body, but if you keep too busy you may be tempted to skip meals to run errands, prep the big holiday meal, and more. However, eating is important, especially when you’re working out regularly. Skipping meals can make you feel worse or make you tempted to eat more than you should at the next meal. So stay on track by packing snacks and making sure you work in your meals even when you’re facing a hectic holiday schedule.
  3. Drink water. Water is easy to skip if you live in a colder climate or get too busy during the holidays. Like eating meals, it’s easy to get out of your routine of regularly drinking plenty of water when you’re busy or doing things outside of your normal routine. Just like when it comes to eating, plan for your water intake. Be purposeful by carrying a water bottle with you that you can refill while on the go, and while at holiday parties, be sure to hydrate between drinks since alcohol is a diuretic, which works against hydration. Even though it may be cold outside, you can still work up a sweat when working out with your Pilates reformer and staying active this holiday season.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year, and stress can give you problems not just getting to sleep but also getting quality sleep. From racing thoughts and tension when you’re trying to drift off, stress makes getting to sleep more difficult, and the less sleep you get, the more you open yourself to stress, making it a tough cycle to break. Remember that you can get more done and get it done more efficiently when you’re properly rested. Although you’re prone to miss a little sleep this time of the year when you have a longer to-do list than normal, protect your sleep to protect your mental and physical health and well-being. Know your sleep habits and protect the quality of your sleep. If you know that eating or drinking later at night will keep you up, stick to just water or fruit later in the evening at a party, saving your heavier meals for earlier in the evening. When you know you’ll be up late for a holiday party, make sure you’re well-rested in the days leading up to it so you can afford to miss a little sleep every now and then without affecting your health.
  5. Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables. The holidays are filled with indulgent food, and typically many of your choices are foods you only eat during the holidays, which may give you a bit of a struggle if you’re trying to make good food choices. However, you can eat guilt-free when you fill your plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables. While these foods include a myriad of health benefits, they can also give you a nice balance to your more indulgent choices.Pilates reformer
  6. Slow down. The holidays are about connecting with others. So while you’re enjoying your holiday meals and parties or unwrapping gifts with friends and loved ones, take time to slow down your pace and really be in the moment. Revel in the fun, focusing more on the people you’re with than anything else. Because you may end up at gatherings with people you prefer not to see or people who cause you stress and because the holiday season itself can simply be stressful for a variety of reasons, you can keep a healthy perspective by simply enjoying the kindness of those around you, making lasting memories.
  7. Take time for yourself. You get pulled in several different directions during the holidays, and it can be hard to say no to anything. However, if it means maintaining a healthy mindset and lower stress levels, say no and give some time to yourself. You don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. You can just meditate on your own, go for a walk, or curl up with a good book or movie. Whatever you choose to do, give yourself time throughout the holiday season to decompress and let go of the stress and responsibilities pulling you in several directions at one time.
  8. Follow healthy habits. With the number of people you end up being around throughout the coming weeks, maintain healthy habits to protect yourself and others against illness. Wash your hands often and be sure to not prepare food when you’re feeling ill. Also be sure to not just cook food to proper temperatures, but also use clean utensils and don’t let food sit out too long during holiday parties or eat food that has been sitting out too long. Properly store food whether you’re preparing it to cook later or are putting the leftovers away.
  9. Start healthy holiday traditions. Since you’re around so many different friends and loved ones, consider incorporating fun and healthy traditions this season. Perhaps take a Christmas walk each week to view the holiday displays around town or in your neighborhood. Host a holiday hike through a tree farm, outdoor market, or just in the woods. Even in chillier climates, you can bundle up and go out for a hike together. You can even suggest a holiday stroll after your meal so everyone can stretch, move a little bit, and avoid that heavy feeling that often accompanies a rich meal.
  10. Take safety seriously. For some reason, we tend to take more risks during the holidays. We may call it “braving the weather,” but we’re really putting ourselves at risk when we drive in unsafe conditions just to attend a special holiday event. We tend to make exceptions for weather and safety and excuse our risks by saying, “The holidays come just one time a year.” But before you stretch yourself too far off your ladder hanging or taking down decorations or try to attack the new-fallen snow with your shovel as if you’ve been training for an hour-long shoveling spree all year (when you haven’t been), remember that your safety and well-being come first. The holidays are about being around the ones you cherish, and you may not be able to gather with them if you’ve injured yourself.

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, but one illness or injury can have you missing out on all the fun. So keep yourself fit for festivities by following these common-sense tips that can help keep you and everyone else on your list as healthy as can be this holiday season.

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