Dr. Bell's Blog

5 Tips To Stay Healthier During The Holiday Season

It is amazing that the Holiday season is upon us, and that Christmas is right around the corner. With this great weather we have been having in the Northeast, it is easy to see why the time has flown by. For many of us the Holidays mean parties, and lots of them.  This can translate into slipping back into our bad eating and exercise habits in a hurry. Like any challenge we are faced with in life, if we approach it with a plan, it makes overcoming it that much easier.  Here are 5 tips that can help you fly through the holiday season happy and healthy...

1. Just Relax:

Stress is very destructive, and unfortunately for many it can be plentiful during the holidays. One of the many ways people cope with stress this time of year is to "comfort eat".  That is, they eat copious amounts of unhealthy, high sugar, processed foods in effort to "feel better".  One of the best ways to prevent stress from taking over is to plan out preventative measures.  These can include:

  •  Scheduling a Massage: Massage therapy is a great way to decompress for an hour.  Plan ahead and get one or two massages scheduled during this particularly busy time of year.
  • Plan Quiet Time: Something as simple as relaxing in a quiet room for 15 minutes, or sitting down to read a good book can do wonders to get you mind to reset and relax.
  • Stay Regular With Your Chiropractic Adjustments: Keeping your spine and nervous system healthy is a great way to help your body deal with everyday stress.  Squeeze in a couple more adjustments during this busy month.

2.  Don't Forget About Exercise:  

One of the best ways to fight the holiday stress is through exercise.  Unfortunately when we get busy, this is one of the first things people omit from their daily routines.  Don't do it!  Everyone has 30 minutes they can carve out to squeeze in a quick workout.  High intensity exercise is best for fat burning and hormone balance, but during the holidays any workout is better than none.  Just get moving!

3.  Bring Your Own Food to Parties:

This is one of my favorites.  The holiday's are filled with party after party, especially as we get close to Christmas and New Years.  One of the tricks you can do when invited to a party is to make something healthy that you like to eat. There is plenty of sugar and processed food at parties, no need to bring more.  Bring some fresh vegetables as an appetizer, or maybe some fresh guacamole for a good dose of healthy fats.  Fill up on healthy whole foods whenever possible, and keep the "goodies" to a minimum.

4.  Rest Up:

Sleep is another thing that becomes neglected by many during the holidays.  Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night is crucial for health and healing, and this is true more than ever during the holidays when stress levels tend to be higher.  For a good night sleep try incorporating a few of these tips...

  • Do not eat within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
  • Try sipping on a nice warm cup of tea or warm water with lemon.  
  • Put down the devices (phone, iPad, etc) 1-2 hours before going to sleep.

5.  Watch Your Sugar Intake:  

Yes, this may be the most difficult one for many during this time of year.  Temptations will be all around you. I am not saying you aren't allowed to have any Christmas cookies, just don't eat the whole plate!  Sugar not only will cause weight gain, but it also has a significant impact on lowering the function of your immune system.  This is one of the main reasons sickness increases this time of year.

In closing,  the holiday season is a wonderful time of year but be sure and not neglect your health along the way.  Getting and staying healthy is not something you do sometimes, but rather ALL the time.  Commit to living a healthy life all year, and that includes during the holidays.  

You need to LIVE well, to BE well.