Starbucks may not have their annual red and green holiday cups out yet, but you don’t need them to remind you the holiday season is almost here. With the start of the holidays comes stress—not to mention the temptation to indulge in comfort foods. This leaves you virtually no time for your healthy, active lifestyle routine. This year, plan accordingly! Start out in a positive direction and make your mind and body health, wellness and happiness a priority.

Exercise and healthy eating habits must be included in your holiday season self-care. This could mean anything from yoga to meditation to your daily exercise routine. More than endorphins, medical research continues to firmly preach the overall health and well-being benefits of vigorous exercise.

Experts are rooting for you too. A study found that consistent, intense exercise positively influences 400 genes - no, not kidding about that number - and they produce proteins that help increase healthy functioning of mitochondria, the energy-producing powerhouse in every cell. Set a realistic training regimen and achievable healthy eating habits now before the holiday season approaches, and hold yourself accountable to maintaining it to help you stay centered, balanced and stress free. This practice is key to nourishing confidence, creativity, productivity and improving communication and decision making. Need more help? We got you covered with these self-care tips:

Schedule Your Activities
  • Whether it’s weight lifting, yoga, Crossfit, rock climbing or drumming on your kit in the garage, sit down on Sundays and plan out your activity schedule as you do with your kids, work and grocery shopping. When you have reminders on your phone or calendar, you’ll acknowledge it as a regular to-do you have to complete and check off.
Practice High-Intensity Interval Training
  • Short on time for your scheduled workout? Intense, short bursts of activity like sprints or burpees (or even shoveling your driveway) are as effective as a longer training session. If the winter weather and long drive to the gym are demotivating, there are plenty of online exercise programs and subscriptions that will be a godsend for you this season.
Complete Nutrition On-the-Go Adventure Buddy
  • Participating in different types of activities this fall and winter is important in maintaining your regimen, but trying them out with an adventure buddy will also hold you accountable to your goals.
Include Calming Activities
  • Soothing activities like meditation, breathing techniques and stretching are just as important for a healthy mind and body. The goal of this type of practice is to help change how you react to situations, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Quieting the mind isn’t easy; it takes discipline and practice to master. Muscle relaxation via touch therapies such as massage aid in recovery, reducing tension and insomnia, and soothing pain too.

Like dietary needs, social outings and work, balance is central. Organization and consistency will ensure your holiday stress is in check and your healthy mind and body goals are on track through the New Year so you can be fully present for the festivities.

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