Maintaining your health during the holidays

How to weather the winter and stay on track this season

By Melissa Petrichko, WAC Nutrition & Health Coach

Nutrition & Health Coach 2As we head into the holiday season, the added stress that accompanies the holidays along with colder, darker weather can throw health objectives out the window.  We don’t feel like going outside as much, become tempted by holiday treats, and inadvertently find ourselves more sedentary.  If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.  It’s relatively easy to stick with your health routine when life is predictable and you are in a rhythm, but the moment anything changes, well-established health habits seem to get put on the back burner.

How do you continue to maintain your exercise routine and healthy nutritional habits during the holidays?  You achieve this with a few simple holiday practices.

Set up a game plan

If you already know what’s coming up and where things fell apart in the past, use this knowledge and experience to pre-plan a better strategy. For example, if you have a tendency to eat through the Halloween candy before kids show up at your door, try waiting until the last minute to buy this year’s supply. Is Thanksgiving hard on you? Perhaps you make a pact with yourself to put vegetables on your plate first to reduce your room for not-so-healthy options. What about committing to 10 minutes of exercise every morning during this busy season. It’s not much, and it can go a long way! Whatever the case may be, if you see it coming, change course and try something new.

Dial in, but don’t quit

Sometimes knowing what to do tends to derail progress. If you believe that working out for anything less than an hour is pointless, you may develop an all-or-nothing approach. If you don’t have an hour to work out, you may feel inclined to not work out at all. When your schedule gets packed with additional holiday events, remember that something is always better than nothing. Adding more activity into your daily life and committing to a 10-minute baseline workout every day will keep you on track through the holiday season.

Toss out the trivial

When life throws a curveball or schedules become overwhelmed with added tasks, it’s a great time to reevaluate what is most important.  Omit trivial, time-wasting activities and reinvest in the essential things. Spend more time with friends and family and less time stagnant in front of the TV or scrolling through social media. Reconnect with those you may have lost connection with through COVID restrictions, work-from-home orders, or lack of trying. When we focus on the essentials that give life meaning, we enhance the quality of our lives and health, giving us more purpose in all we do.

—Reach WAC Nutrition & Health Coach Melissa Petrichko at mpetrichko@wac.net. View WAC Wellness services online.

—Posted September 27, 2021; JC.

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