The holiday season is upon us and we all know what that means: good food and overeating. In other words, finding the balance between staying healthy and enjoying yourself. Too often, good food is not good for us. We all know the consequences of eating too much too quickly. That is why fitness centers and gyms all over the world love January, because that is when everyone vows to never over-indulge again and gets back on the fitness train … again!
We all have different tastes and weaknesses that we often stop resisting during the busy and celebratory month of December.
What can You Do to Avoid this Annual Health Trap?
- Strategize: Be pro-active and take up the challenge. You know your weaknesses better than anyone else, so you are the one most qualified to create a healthy holiday strategy for yourself. Make plans and rules for yourself that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Mostly that means eating properly, but it also means maintaining your regular healthy habits for physical exercise, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. You already know how to take care of yourself. If you think about it, you also already know how you will sabotage your plans so you can make a strategy to help you conquer your own worst enemy … yourself.
- Eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast is known to make you hungrier later in the day and more susceptible to unhealthy temptations that will come your way.
- Take healthy snacks to the workplace so that you have an alternative to all the rich treats that coworkers bring in. Rice cakes with avocado, tuna or nut butter; fresh fruit; nuts; carrots or celery and dips. These are all great healthy snacks.
- Maintain your physical fitness routine, or at least make sure that you don’t abandon it altogether. If your schedule gets unmanageable during the holidays, make plans to reduce your workout routine to something manageable and then stick to it no matter what. Working out half as much is better than not working out at all.
- Eat the healthiest things first. If you go to a dinner or banquet, fill up on the most healthy items before sampling the rich, indulgent things that most of us love to eat at this time of year. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of high calorie, less that optimum healthy items. Example of the better foods to fill up on are fibrous vegetables – salad type vegies, as well as sprouts, beans, carrot, beetroot, squash.
- Reward yourself for healthy habits. If you can resist most of the unhealthy temptations that might cross your path, give yourself a reward. Let yourself have that pie and ice cream, but only if you avoided sweet snacks all day and did your workout.
- If you have a strict dietary regiment, then plan to take your own food to family dinners or parties. This might surprise some people, so you might want to warn them of your plan in advance. You can save yourself a lot of pain from over indulging if you make plans to avoid eating things that will derail your diet.
- Get enough sleep. The human body should have around 8 hours of sleep every day, give or take a little. Sleep deprivation is very unhealthy to your body and mental state. It creates a stress response in your body, reducing the effectiveness of your immune system and altering your metabolism, among many other physiological changes. Getting enough sleep will make resisting unhealthy temptations and maintaining your workout routine and diet easier. The last thing you need is to try to resist that double chocolate fudge brownie on only 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
From all of us at Canberra Spine Centre, have a happy and healthy holiday season! Call us today and get a complete examination and consultation to help restore or maintain your spinal health and develop a holistic plan for a long and healthy life.