The holidays can be both happy and healthy – with a little planning and the right attitude. In honor of the upcoming holiday season, Phillip Snider, DO, provides seven tips on how you can enjoy the holidays with family and friends without regretting it on January 2nd:
- Choose to Stay Healthy
Start with a flu shot. Get one before you go to big gatherings where it’s easy to catch a bug. Be sure to stock the medicine cabinet in case you do get sick and remember to take a good multivitamin. Finally, get a good night’s sleep. You’ll need rest to do all the activities you enjoy.
- Forget About Losing Weight
Dropping pounds during the holidays is hard. Temptations abound. It takes powerful discipline to pass the ham biscuits without a nibble. So, instead of attempting to lose weight this holiday season, make up your mind to maintain your pre-Thanksgiving weight until the New Year. Afterward you can start a diet and exercise program. During the holidays, eat moderately and selectively. Choose seasonal treats: for example, eat a slice of fruitcake, and skip the potato chips, which are available year-round. Drink water instead of soda. (Most of us need to drink more water anyways, and it helps you feel full.)
- Safety First
Every year, emergency rooms are filled with people who drink too much, or fall off ladders while hanging lights. Your local fire department will certainly be rushing to a burning home or two where frying the turkey got out of hand as well. So, make safety a priority.
Nothing relieves stress like a light work-out of a walk in the park. Exercise can also help with weight control and getting a good night’s sleep. It’s also a great way to take a break from all that family togetherness.
- Mind Your Budget
Money problems always bring stress. An honest look at your pre-holiday finances can prevent post-holiday misery.
Spending time with your friends and relatives in person or on the phone can be a wonderful way to reconnect. You might be surprised to learn that your family history is important to many of the next generation.
- Say “Thanks”
Thank the cook, your hostesses and the delivery guy. Happiness comes when we are grateful for kindness and what we have. Times are hard, but each of us are blessed in many ways, and it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on that.
“The secret to staying healthy this time of the year is staying balanced,” suggests Dr. Snider. “A little moderation can add lots of pleasure when it comes to treats, parties, and the seasonal hustle and bustle. Here are seven simple tips on how to combine good times with good living during the holidays.”
Dr. Snider practices medicine with Amelia Medical Associates in the Kempsville section of Norfolk, and is the medical director of the Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute. He is board certified in family practice and osteopathic manipulative medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Academy of Osteopathy. Prior to medical school, Dr. Snider was a registered dietitian and a certified personal trainer.