The nights are getting darker, the lights and trees are popping up around the neighborhood, and the snow has begun to fall, this can mean one thing – the holidays are upon us. Possibly the most over-indulgent time of the year, the holiday season can bring with it mountains of candy canes, canapés and cakes, here are a few healthy hints to keep yourself on track throughout all the festivities and cruising into the new year in great shape.
Let’s face it, a big part of the holidays is the food. Whether sharing a traditional Christmas dinner or snacking on finger foods at holiday get-togethers, it can be hard to keep track of just how much you’re consuming. So, step away from that chocolate fountain and pay a visit to the veggie tray for a change of pace and nutrient intake. There are also a range of Healthy Diet & Nutrition Apps that can help to plan and monitor what and when you eat over the holiday season.
With the hours changing due to daylight savings and late nights of wrapping gifts after the kids go to bed, the holiday season can sometimes mean a lack of sleep as opposed to a time to catch-up on rest. Sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road, according to the National Sleep Foundation. So, make sure to get as much rest and relaxation as you do holiday socializing, and avoid that last minute Christmas Eve shopping spree. Cozy up in your new Christmas onesie, pour yourself a cup of tea in that mug from Grandma and have a movie marathon!
Whether it’s a group trip to the Christmas market or a company Christmas party, holidays are a busy time in many people’s social calendar. While it’s good to keep a balance or rest and play, staying social is great for your mental health. Social inclusion and interaction play a major role in good mental health along with being active, previous studies have shown that people who are more socially connected are healthier and live longer than their more isolated peers. So get out and about and spread that holiday cheer.
The holidays often have us on the move, from travelling home to see family or making the rounds to visit in-laws and friends. Travelling takes a toll on your health bringing jet lag, dehydration and the stress of endless queues and sitting for extended periods of time, whether by plane, train or automobile. Jet Lag and altered sleeping patterns can affect the brain in a number of ways including a risk of poorer memory as well as cognitive impairment. While traveling is unavoidable for many this season, there are things you can do to try and make the trip go as smooth as possible and ensure you are prepared for the unexpected. Check ahead for travel alerts, weather warnings and delays as well as making sure you have all the appropriate travel documents. Also make sure to have any and all medications you might need as well as a mini first aid kit just in case!