Research from Stanford shows that the average person gains only about one pound during the holiday season. Now, that might not sound like much, but if you do it year over year, it can become problematic. Of course, weight gain is only an indicator of more troublesome health and lifestyle patterns that tend to emerge throughout the holiday feasting season. Here are some tips that can keep your belly from trembling like a bowl full of jelly (and generally help you be the healthiest version of you possible):
5 Tips to Keep In Mind After You Finish Your Holiday Feasting
Move Your Body and Get Plenty of Exercises
Did you know that people sit on their sofa for an average of 4 hours each day? As human beings, this is quite an unnatural state of affairs. Our bodies are made to be active and moving, not docile and immobile. This is why a sedentary lifestyle brings with it a whole host of potential medical problems. Not only are your muscles and tendons not given the stimulation they need, but your internal organs also function less effectively when you spend too much time sitting or not moving your body around.
Exercise, of course, does not come easy for everyone. But a lot of the time this is because exercise has been associated in a negative context at some point. For example, for most people, the thought of going to a gym and sweating on a treadmill sounds like the exact opposite of a fun afternoon. In fact, for many people, this may be true, but there’s no shame in that. Instead, it’s important to acknowledge what types of exercise are unappealing to you so that you can more easily identify the types of exercise that work with your body and personality. Given the treadmill example, it may just be that you’re more excited to exercise with a game of tennis with an old friend. Finding what works for you is the key to maintaining a regular exercise routine.
There are more options than ever before when it comes to exercise. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Love music and socializing? Take up a dance class at a local studio. This will allow you to meet new people and have fun while also getting in some excellent aerobic exercise. More of a competitive type? Join a local flag football or kickball team. Yoga, pilates, and swimming offer even more variety for those who are curious to try a new form of exercise. With diligence and an open mind, you’re sure to find the exercise routine that fits your life.
Don’t Forget to Get Your Flu Shot!
Holiday time unfortunately also marks the beginning of the flu season. The CDC estimates that since 2010, as many as 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations and up to 56,000 flu-related deaths have occurred. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid getting the flu. Perhaps the most important step you can take is to get a flu shot.
While many people worry about the safety of the flu shot, it helps to know that flu shots are usually quite harmless, and the actual vaccination is stored in a certified lab freezer. While certain allergies can be triggered by getting the flu shot, this is quite rare. Most of the time a flu shot does far more help than harm. Of course, if you’re concerned about getting the vaccine, then you should always consult with your primary care physician first. However, most people discover that some of the minor side effects that may arise from a flu shot are far preferable to those more serious symptoms that come along with the flu itself. Getting a simple flu shot could save you from a world of hurt this holiday season.
Opt for Natural Supplements and Products
With so many unnatural products on the market today, it’s quite a challenge to find healthier alternatives. But there is certainly a demand for natural products. In fact, 42% of women aged 18 and over said that they preferred natural beauty products over a more synthetic version. Synthetic beauty products and supplements can have negative health consequences, even if they are not immediately observed. Keep that in mind the next time you’re walking through the hair care aisle at your local drugstore and opt for a natural alternative.
Eat Clean, Natural Foods
Following the typical holiday season diet with healthy foods can seem like a monumental undertaking. All the cookies, chocolates, and treats tend to create quite a negative feedback loop in your diet. But this makes it all the more important to get back on track eating healthy foods as soon as you can.
If you have a problem with sugar, as many people do, then opt for whole fruits that contain natural sugars, instead of processed refined sugars. Blueberries, pears, and apples are great examples of fruits that provide your body with the sugars it needs without also having the negative consequences associated with baked goods and sugary treats. Furthermore, you can usually combat sugar cravings by ensuring that you get enough protein throughout your day. Starting your day off with a breakfast that is high in protein also has a similar effect, as you will feel more satisfied, and thus less likely to reach for that brownie in the afternoon.
We all know that drinking enough water is the key to almost every aspect of physical health. Yet even so, many people still fail to get the right amount of water throughout the day. Thankfully there are few hydration hacks that work wonders. First off, try to start every day off with a glass of water before you do anything else. When you make this part of your morning routine, you’re far less likely to forget. You can also carry a reusable water bottle with daily reminders set up on your phone or smartwatch so you never miss a drink of water.
While getting back on track after the holiday season can be tough, it’s not impossible. With the right mindset and approach, it’s within your power to get back to being healthy regardless of where you might be right now. It also helps to know that you’re not alone. If you’re trying to re-establish healthy habits after the holiday season, you are one of many people doing the same thing. We’re all rooting for you!