Updated December 11, 2020.
The holidays are finally here! It’s the time of year when we start to relax, unwind, and celebrate the end of the year. On top of sweet treats and the chaos of shopping for gifts, there are other reasons we’re more likely to struggle with staying healthy over the holiday season.
Here’s our guide to staying happy, healthy, and active this season.
Why is it so hard to stay healthy during the holidays?
There are legitimate reasons for struggling to maintain a healthy diet and workout regimen as the temperatures drop and your schedule gets busy. Some of the more common factors include:
1. Cold weather can be an exercise deterrent
It’s hard enough to keep up a consistent exercise routine, let alone try to stay active in colder weather. The change in temperature and inclement weather can throw routines for a loop and keep you from doing the outdoor physical activity you’re used to. This shift in routine can make it hard to re-establish a steady workout regimen.
2. Darker mornings make it hard to wake up
If you’ve been struggling to get out of bed since daylight savings time ended, you’re not alone. Darkness naturally triggers your brain to produce melatonin, which means if you try waking up before the sun rises, you’ll have the same feeling you get when jet lagged.
3. Nutrition falls out of focus
The holidays often mean an abundance of sweet holiday treats and hearty, warm meals. Between gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pie, and mashed potatoes, it’s hard not to abandon your typical diet for sugary, fatty, comfort foods. Extravagant dinners with more alcoholic drinks than usual can contribute to a sense of losing track of your usual health routine.
So what can I do to stay healthy?
While the factors above might be working against you, we know you can still make eating right and staying active a priority. Here are some tried and true tips to stay healthy, stay active, and manage stress:
- Get your workout out of the way: If possible, working out early in the day makes sure you stick to a routine. It’s easier to skip a workout later in the day, when you’re tired from work or busy with a holiday party.
- Wear layers if you work out outside: You’re more likely to get outside if you bundle up. Make sure to choose clothing that traps warmth near your skin, along with moisture-wicking base layers to keep you dry.
- Try to eat mindfully: This means paying attention to how much you’re eating, how the food you’re eating tastes, and how hungry you actually are. Staying alert in this way will help you keep in touch with how your body feels.
- Eat regular meals: Eating healthy meals regularly throughout the day keeps you full, which will help you say no to the sugary snacks that are often lying around during the holidays.
- Make sure you’re managing stress: Taking time for yourself will make it easier to stay mindful, organized, and as stress free as possible.
- Go easy on the drinks: But if you do happen to overindulge, check out our guide to preventing hangovers.
The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, a national, modern primary care practice pairing 24/7 virtual care services with inviting and convenient in-person care at over 100 locations across the U.S. One Medical is on a mission to transform health care for all through a human-centered, technology-powered approach to caring for people at every stage of life.
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