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Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

The Holidays. The time for family and friends, tree decorating, lights, presents and food. Between all of the cookies, pies, ham, and eggnog it’s hard to think of being healthy.  However as we all know, it’s harder to lose weight and return to healthy habits than it is to gain. So, here are some tips and tricks for maintaining your health over the holidays.

First off, it is important to remember balance. You deserve to treat yourself after a long and hard year that much is true.  It is helpful during this time to make rules for yourself, however. For instance, for every cookie I eat, I vow to do 20 sit-ups.  Small rules like this are helpful in trying to maintain the sweet/ exercise balance. Or at the very least, stop you from eating the cookie if you don’t want to do the exercise. 

There are so many recipes available for healthy substitutions for the typical holiday food load. Some of my favorite holiday recipes can be found:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/christmas 

http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/christmas/tp/top10xmas.htm

The holidays offer many opportunities for exercise.  If the weather allows, take a walk around your neighborhood to admire the lights and decorations of houses. Take your kids to a park (or mountain if you are in AZ) to play in the snow and run around with them, remembering your own childhood memories and creating new ones. Go to an ice rink and see if you can remember how to stand. Perhaps put a membership to your local gym on your wish list, or better yet buy one for yourself. If you pay for your own membership that may be motivation enough to use it. Do some actual shopping this year instead of buying everything online.  Fighting the crowds alone is sure to burn a few calories!

We must remember of course that health isn’t all about weight. When you are out in public remember to wash your hands frequently to avoid getting sick. Public places are going out be crowded with people from all over the world, so it’s vital to avoid germs as much as possible, especially when shopping. Earlier this week I was shopping and heard a choir of coughing, and in that moment I decided that my hand sanitizer would be my best friend (and a great gift!) this holiday season.  

So with only hours left until Christmas, I wish you luck with your last minute shopping and resisting the overabundance of sweets over the next couple of weeks. Stay safe and stay healthy.