No one wants to be under the weather during the holidays, and that means partaking in a little self care where you can. A truly happy holiday includes good health! Here are 5 tips to stay on track during the holidays.

1. Any workout is better than no workout!

The hardest part of any workout is starting. Sweating is very important to your overall health, so make a point to get your heart rate up several times a week. Lace up your sneakers and head outside to go for a walk or jog. If you’re not a fan of the cold, stick inside for stretching or your favorite YouTube HIIT workout. Whether is it twenty minutes of yoga, a walk outside with your dog, or a speedy quick ab workout, you will definitely feel better in the short term and your body and mind will benefit in the long run.

2. Commit to not overcommitting   

It’s ok to say no! Overplanning and the added pressure of being a “yes person” means something has to give. And that something tends to be ourselves. Schedule out all your holiday plans so that you don’t stretch yourself too thin. Stress has a lot of negative effects on your body and is a major contributing factor to a weakened immune system. Nursing a cold is not a good way to spend the holiday season. The holidays can be stressful enough, so don’t overtax yourself and make time for your own health.

3. Sugar doesn’t count

Believe it or not, candy canes and sugar cookies don’t count as major food groups (unless you’re an elf). Starting with a protein packed and nutrition rich breakfast, as well as planning out meals and snacks for the day helps us all stay in control around the cookie table at work. Orgain protein bars are a delicious high fiber, low sugar alternative to sweet treats. Bring in some seasonal fruits like citrus and persimmons for an off-beat holiday treat.    

4. Watch your caffeine intake

The hectic nature of the holiday season can drive even a non-coffee drinker to reconsider, but be careful of overdoing it on the caffeine. Listen to your body, and if your body is saying that it needs to rest, try to accommodate for that. Ironically, increasing your caffeine intake could only make it more difficult for you to get the sleep you need. Restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia are common side effects of increased caffeine intake, and that will lead to a vicious and exhaustive cycle. Hit the sack earlier and be sure you are getting enough ZZZs! Prolonged exhaustion has widespread effects, including irritability, headaches, and impaired memory and concentration. If you are really dragging and need a boost of energy, take a few minutes for yourself and stretch your legs outside. The fresh air will do wonders for your attention and mood.  

5. Honor and enjoy tradition where it’s important to you

The holidays are filled with traditions, and there can be a lot of pressure to partake in all of it all of the time. Choose the ones that are important to you, and enjoy them. Maybe there are a few that you could do without--like the leftover fruitcake that you always find yourself eating into January. The point is to prioritize. If you make gingerbread with your kids or your parents every year and that is a special time for you, enjoy it! If the pressure to show up at work with two dozen hand iced peppermint cupcakes doesn’t serve you, skip it. Consider starting new traditions that honor the spirit of giving, like volunteering or sponsoring a family in need. Remember that emotional health is just as important as physical.   How do you add elements of healthy living to the season? Take these 5 tips into consideration to have a healthy and enjoyable holiday!