healthy holiday

Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

As the song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” And while it’s true for many, the holidays can be a bit taxing. In preparation for a busy next couple of months, here are a few tips to ensure a healthy holiday season.

Healthy Holiday Tip #1: Stress Less

With shopping lists a mile long, errands to run, parties to host and attend, and the other stressors of the season, it’s not surprising that anxiety and stress often come into the picture during this time of year. When you’re feeling frazzled, slow down and take a moment to reflect on the many blessings in your life. If that doesn’t work, try a soothing cup of green tea or take 200-400 mg of the anxiety-reducing amino acid theanine or 100 mg of PharmaGABA, another natural stress and anxiety buster.

Other effective stress-relieving activities include meditation, yoga, and tai chi. And when all else fails, remember that laughter truly is the best medicine. In addition to boosting immune function, it increases circulation, reduces muscular tension, and just plain feels good. So spice up your life with funny movies, books, and people who make you laugh—and practice “smile therapy” whenever you get the chance.

Healthy Holiday Tip #2: Eat Healthy

It’s temping to go hog wild during the holidays. After all, there are sweets and treats everywhere you turn. But overindulging is bad for your health in a number of ways. First, there’s the guilt. Next, there’s the weight gain. Finally, there’s the sluggish feeling you get from overeating rich, fatty, sugary foods. Fortunately, with a little willpower and a few dietary swaps you can stick with a healthy diet, not just during the holidays but all year long.

Limit your intake of starches and sugars. These high-glycemic carbohydrates wreak havoc on blood sugar and waistlines. Try steamed and pureed cauliflower with a little garlic in place of mashed potatoes, eat savory steamed veggies instead of loading your plate with stuffing, and bake with xylitol, stevia, or another natural, low-calorie sweetener in order to cut back on sugar. Take the skin off your turkey to slash fat content, say no to seconds, and try to eat sensible portions. Moderation in tandem with good food choices goes a long way toward improving health. 

Healthy Holiday Tip #3: Exercise More

I realize this is a busy time of year, but that’s no excuse to put exercise on the back burner. In fact, staying physically active will actually give you more energy to tackle all of your holiday tasks. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, simply incorporate these calorie burners into your daily activities.

Take a quick walk whenever you can squeeze one in, park in the far corners of the lot at the mall or grocery store, use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, pick up the pace as you do housework and chores, do jumping jacks, push-ups, or sit-ups for a few minutes when you have some idle time—just get moving!

Healthy Holiday Tip #4: Bolster Your Immune System

You know what they say: The best defense is a good offense. The upcoming weeks are bound to be busy and stressful, and that combo can really take a toll on your immune system. Don’t end up on the sidelines. Protect yourself by giving your body the nutrients it needs to fight off infection and keep you in the pink.

Start by taking 2,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Your goal is to get your blood level in the 40-60 ng/mL range. Next, load up on vitamin C, a minimum of 1,000 mg per day. Other immune-boosting supplements to consider are echinacea (use as directed), zinc lozenges, and elderberry (Sambucol is a good brand). You can purchase these supplements in health food stores, online from various retailers, or by calling the clinic at 800-810-6655.

Healthy Holiday Recap

Tackling stress, eating mindfully, exercising, and keeping your immune system in tip-top shape will go a long way toward a healthy holiday season. If you have other holiday health tips you’d like to share, please email them to info@whitakerwellness.com

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