Fun Friday: Holiday Season Health

HOLIDAY SEASON HEALTH

Tis’ the season for all things fall, football, pumpkin, peppermint, fires and cheer! This is truly my absolute favorite time of year for a number of reasons. I love the cooler weather that these upcoming months bring. I love anything peppermint and the smell of wood smoke. And mostly, I love the way that the holidays seem to bring out the best in people and provide a wonderful reason to gather with family and friends. I look forward to the family traditions that we have including: saying what we are each thankful for at Thanksgiving (followed by lots of turkey and football), decorating my Mom’s Christmas tree with her while listening to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers Christmas Album (an oldie but a goodie and one that we have listened to since I was a child) and drinking eggnog, going to church on Christmas Eve in my tiny childhood church all decorated with fresh garland and candles, and getting to just take a break from the daily grind and spend time with my favorite people.
I realize that this may sound a bit like a Hallmark card but it rings true for me. However I also know that the holidays can bring about certain levels of stress and over-indulgences. Hence, the popularity of “New Year’s Resolutions”! I think it’s safe to say that most of us think, “well, I’ll just get through the holidays and then I will focus on my goals”.  Yet, what if you took just a few simple steps to maintain or get a jump start on those healthy habits through the holidays? Below are some ideas to help you through the holiday season both mentally, emotionally, and physically and always remember… your team at Wellview is always there to support you in any way that we can so don’t hesitate to reach out! Happy Holidays Ya’ll!
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ACTIVITY

1. Take a brain break – Now that the weather has cooled off some, take advantage of the fall air and get outside! Go for a short walk on your lunch break to get some exercise and clear your mind.

2. Get your turkey trot and jingle bell run on – Google your local race schedule or look at your local .gov calendar for upcoming 5k/1 mile fun run and walks! Most towns have a Turkey Trot, Halloween costume race, and Jingle Bell run so get your whole family involved or get a group of friends and co-workers together and get moving! There are often vendors, food, and live music.

3. Get the whole family moving – Growing up, my family (a very large one) always played a game of flag football either before or after our Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great way to get exercise through the form of play and connect the generations.

 

FOOD TIPS

1. Stay hydrated – While it can be fun to have those holiday cocktails, beer, and wine, try to make sure to drink water as you go. Take a break and drink a glass of H2O after a beverage to stay hydrated and slow your pace. Plus, just a reminder that daily recommendations are 1 drink per day for women and 2 per day for men. Cheers!

2. Make some switches – If you’re looking for a some lower-carb options try out these swaps below:

  • Mashed Cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes
  • Zucchini Pizza bites (check out www.wellviewhealth.com blogs for the recipe)
  • Put out a veggie, cheese, and fruit tray with Greek Ranch dip (mix a packet of ranch dressing into container of plain Greek yogurt — get the flavor with a punch of calcium and protein!) to snack on before your big meals. This will help you curb your appetite with nutritionally dense foods rather than snacks and sweets

3. Use Pinterest – Check out www.pinterest.com for healthy versions of your favorite holiday recipes. It compiles recipes from tons of different sites with yummy variations of traditional ingredients. Just type in “healthy” and a variety should show up for you.

4. Check out Menu Monday – Look for upcoming recipe tips on our Wellview Health #menumonday blog!

5. Add some protein – Whether it’s turkey, fish, or a vegetarian option, this wonderful macronutrient will help you feel fuller longer, help maintain your blood sugar and insulin and aid in muscle protein synthesis (building and repair of your muscle tissue).

 

EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL

1. Make sure to take time to yourself – If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the family and friend events, step outside and get some fresh air or go for a short walk on your own to clear your mind.

2. Do some yoga – Consider trying a yoga class or a youtube session to relax and take give yourself some self-care. Studios often have holiday specials and this particular practice can help to relax you and put your mind in a positive space again. One of our favorite online instructors on You Tube is “yoga with Adrienne”.

3. Accept your emotions – If the holidays dredge up emotions from the loss of someone, allow yourself the time to let these emotions play out. If talking to someone helps you, reach out to a family member or friend. Maybe revisit old photos or videos or do an activity that has good memories with that person. If the times seem too difficult to face, consider reaching out to a counselor to work through your feelings. Feel free to reach out to Wellview Health with these concerns to learn about resources that are here to help.

4. Shop – If the thought of fighting the crowds at the malls is overwhelming to you, consider online shopping! It is simple, easy, often has online coupons associated with holiday deals, and the best part is you can do it in your PJs from the comfort of your own home.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!

 

 

– LAUREN ORMSBEE, CHC, CEP

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