Mondays can often require a little Monday motivation… I know today is Tuesday! This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but my puppy, Maybelle, had a tough morning that set my whole busy day behind and off track. SO sorry! So, today’s post is all about tips for staying healthy during the holidays.
It’s a common story… we get so excited for the festivities to begin that we rsvp yes to tons of events and parties, we sleep less because we go out more, and we forget to take care of ourselves. Combine this with the weather changes, the stress that can come with the holiday season, and with the fact that we generally eat less healthy and exercise less in the winter and boom, you’ve got a perfect recipe for getting sick. Read on for my tips for staying healthy during the holidays to avoid having this happen to you!
Healthy Holiday Tips
Get Enough Quality Sleep
It can be really challenging to clock in enough sleep during the holidays with so many events and parties going on and so many items on our to-do lists. I fall victim to staying up late ordering people gifts, enjoying the party for that extra drink, and scrolling through my Instagram feed because it’s full of people’s gorgeous holiday photos. It’s so helpful always but especially this time of year to cut out screens before bed and replace them with reading.
How many of y’all think you drink enough water on a daily basis? It is common knowledge that drinking 2-3 liters of water a day (for women) helps promote weight loss/helps maintain ideal weights. Water also helps keep your skin clean, fuel your workouts, increase your energy, flush out toxins, and boosts your immune system… aka all the things we need during the holidays! A pro tip: during the holidays we tend to overindulge in alcohol, sugar, and unhealthy foods so it’s recommended that we drink even more water than normal. Water also helps keep you full so you won’t get to the holiday party and go for the dessert tray right away! P.S. in addition to water, you should be drinking this!
Up Your Antioxidants
Maintaining good nutrition during the holidays will keep you feeling healthy and energized. A simple easy way to keep things healthy is to create a few holiday inspired healthy snacks at home that you can nibble on as well as bring to parties. I’m a huge sucker for pumpkin spice power bars. I also love making popcorn and then drizzling melted dark chocolate on top… popcorn is a whole grain so it’s high in fiber while dark chocolate is a yummy source for antioxidants.
A third healthy no-fuss treat I love to make are no-bake energy bars. I simply combine oatmeal, sunflower seeds, little pieces of dark chocolate, pistachios, and a small amount of almond butter (just enough to act as the glue and hold the mixture together). I then roll it out on a baking sheet and cut it into square bars… the oatmeal provides fiber, the nuts and almond butter provide protein, and the dark chocolate provides antioxidants (you can also add pomegranate seeds for a second dose of antioxidants + a sweet flavor). Another tip, is to start your morning with an antioxidant rich kick by sipping a high antioxidant tea such as green tea while you make your smoothie (with blueberries for the antioxidants).
Be A Smart Drinker
Being a smart drinker at the holidays means limiting festive drinks like hot cocoa, sugary or heavy cocktails like eggnog, and general alcohol like at parties with open bars. A tip that I always find very helpful is to skip the signature cocktail of the night or the specialty cocktails in favor of alcohol + soda water with lime. The soda water cuts down your sugar intake in a huge way and will leave you feeling much better the next day too. In between drinks, have a glass of water too to protect you from both feeling terribly the next day and to keep you from over eating at the party.
Keep Up With Your Workouts
This might seem obvious but sometimes it is so hard to maintain normal exercise schedules this time of year. There is always an excuse to put it on the back-burner. I truly find myself forgetting to workout because I am so busy that it just doesn’t even make it onto my schedule/to-do list. The benefits of exercising during the holidays are endless.
First and foremost, you’ll feel your best all season long if you’re squeezing in hot yoga classes (sweat out those toxins!) or a really hard spin class. Working out will also keep your metabolism fired up and it will also help keep your mind clean to make better decisions when faced with holiday foods and drinks. If I get a great workout in during the day, I feel better all day from it, and am way less likely to have a drink or reach for dessert at the Christmas party. Be realistic about it though and don’t be too hard on yourself… if you normally workout four times a week but your schedule is way more full during the holidays, then aim for working out 3 times a week. However, make those 3 workouts really count!
Plan Active Get-Togethers
So, you’ve committed to keeping up with your workouts but… one of the best parts of the holidays is reuniting with family and friends. I so often suggest catching up after weeks, months, or a year of being apart over a glass of wine… let’s face it, it’s fun but not the smart choice! There is plenty of time to get your drink on on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years Eve so this year, I’m going to make a conscious effort to plan active get-togethers. I’m thinking catching up while hiking, over coffee after a spin class, or on a walking date. Plus, this gives me a chance to wear my cute winter workout clothes with my friends and family in tow and enjoy outdoor workouts.
Winter Workout Wear
I love getting a few new pieces of workout clothes when the summer comes and when the winter comes to keep me excited about staying active (sounds silly, I know, but it helps!). I say that it’s important to have cute winter workout clothes to help you stay motivated and to keep you warm so you don’t get sick if you’re being active outside by running or hiking etc.
Let’s be honest, warm workout clothes are the perfect winter uniform for running errands and bopping around picking up Christmas gifts too. My favorite places to shop for workout wear are Nordstrom for Nike shoes (I love the Flyknit) and Zella, J.Crew for New Balance, S’well for water bottles, and Outdoor Voices for super cute workout clothes. Stay tuned for my Gift Guide: For the Health Nut coming very soon!
Cheers to a healthy holiday season ahead!
Photograph by Jessi Burrone (photo originally appeared here)