Celebrating the December Holidays in a Healthier Way
The holidays are, by far, the hardest time of year for me to stick with my health plan. We’ve already made it through a few of the toughies, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and are on our way to the last few winter holidays! It’s no wonder many people often try to reset with resolutions come the new year.
Well...our eyes and our bodies need us to try to maintain health this time of year too, no matter how hard it is. Here are a few tips that I find to help me be successful in keeping my year-round health goals AND still be able to celebrate the holidays, the new year, AND have joy!
Set realistic goals
Don’t promise yourself that you won’t eat any cookies or sweets at parties at all...it’s the holidays! Delicious cookies are everywhere and it’s important to celebrate as well. Maybe you want to just stick to one or two cookies at each holiday party? Give yourself a goal you can stick with!
Don't tell yourself that you're waking up at 4:00 AM every morning in December to work out if that isn't feasible for you. Can you wake up early and work out twice a week for 30 minutes and vow to get a few miles in on the treadmill on the weekend? That sounds more attainable for most of us.
Exercise benefits more than just your physical health, mental health as well, helps keep you from catching viruses and allows the nutrients you ingest to make it to their final destination...ahem...your eyes!
But let’s be real...it’s the holidays. For many of us it’s the busiest time of the year. We may not have enough time to hit the gym and depending on where you live, it may be too cold to go for a walk or jog outside.
Try functional exercise
Having guests over? Clean. Organize. Get those hard to reach places you’ve been wanting to get...Are anyone’s ceiling fans and windows as dirty as mine? How about under the bed?
Need to buy gifts? Take your time at the mall and get some extra steps in. Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Get creative!
It’s so easy to want to just cuddle up under a warm blanket with hot chocolate and watch movies during the winter. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that...if it brings you joy, you definitely should! Try to stay active too! Just 30 minutes a day will get that heart pumping and metabolism going. This is also what allows the nutrients you put into your body from eating or supplementation to be absorbed properly.
Sleep is one of those things that I know I need to maintain overall health and the health of my eyes...but...I'm just no good at it. Our bodies need sleep in order to maintain health and give us rest for energy. Especially during the holidays when we're so busy and around more germs than we'd like to be around. In an article I wrote called I Really Need to Sleep, I give some tips on how to capture more of it, fingers crossed!
If you know you have a party on Friday evening, try to eat really light and healthy throughout the day. Or, if you know you have a party-filled weekend, make healthier choices during the week.
Alcohol is sometimes part of holiday celebrations. Alcohol is not only a fast way to add on calories (and sugar), but when we’re feeling tipsy we tend to snack more! Just as we lose our inhibitions for driving responsibly when under the influence of alcohol, but we also lose our inhibitions for eating responsibly as well.
Minimize the amount of eggnog, champagne, liquor, beer and wine you’re drinking.
This brings me to my next tip...
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Drink lots of water throughout the day to stay healthy. Not only is the goal to maintain good health during 'sick season,' but we're also wanting to keep our eyes as healthy as possible. As a bonus, if we drink a tall glass of water before meals we tend to eat much less.
I know it's the holidays and many of us are exhausted from all.the.things. Planning, shopping, visiting, cooking, wrapping...but our eyes still need us to be as healthy as we can. It is possible to be healthy and celebrating the holidays!
Happy Holidays, Friends!
Do you rely on food and nutrition to slow down the progression of MD?