How to Stay Healthy in the Holiday Season

By Kara Ryan, Marketing Director at SearchWide

Winter is coming! With the colder weather comes those festive holiday snacks that contribute to us packing on a few pounds. Those sneaky calories leave us feeling sluggish going into the new year.

As soon as the calendar reaches October 1, before the leaves start to change colors, we see the seasonal pumpkin flavored beverages and goodies being offered at coffee shops and restaurants. Did you know a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte has 380 calories? Similar in calorie count is its friend who follows in November, the Peppermint Mocha! This is the time of year where baked goods and sweets are abundant at the office, at home and while traveling. 

Is there a way to stay healthy during the holidays and avoid the bulge? Instead of making a New Year’s resolution (yet again) to exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight, let’s start before the holidays begin.

Here are some tried and true tips to stay healthy during the holiday season:

Lemon Water in the Morning

As soon as you wake, pour yourself an 8-16 oz. glass of water and squeeze half a lemon in it. If you’re traveling and don’t have easy access to lemon, that’s okay, a large glass of water in the morning brings benefits. Drink your morning water hot, room temperature, or cold - whatever you prefer.

The morning glass of water rehydrates you from the night before, kick starts your digestive system for the day, and the lemon offers vitamins and minerals that have been proven to help lose weight and decrease appetite. Lemons are packed full of vitamin C, beneficial for your immune system during cold and flu season. Make sure you drink all your water before your morning cup of joe or breakfast.

Read more benefits of drinking lemon water here.

Snack Throughout the Day

Snacking helps you to not over-indulge on unhealthy foods, which we tend to do when we are hungry. Keep fresh fruit on hand, perhaps apples and bananas. They go great with a small portion of peanut butter and take little preparation. Trail mix is another great snack option, but watch out, it can pack those sneaky calories (definitely read your labels). You can easily make your own trail mix from raw or roasted nuts and some dried fruit that doesn’t contain added sugars. Carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and celery are easy and a pair partner with hummus. Energy bites take a bit of prep, but store nicely in the freezer. Here are eight variations to make.

Track Your Sweets

What would the holidays be if you couldn’t have seasonal baked goods or fancy flavored lattes? If you have that willpower, go you! If not, allow yourself a limited number of sweets treats or cheats a week. Keep track of them so you don’t go over your weekly limit and watch overindulging.

Keep on Moving

If you currently have an exercise program, stick to it and if you don’t yet have a plan, get one going! Some people prefer going to the gym when it starts getting too cold outside. There are plenty of fitness studios or classes offered at most gyms. Give one a try! Most studios offer your first class free. Spin class is fantastic cardio, yoga is great for strengthening and flexibility, barre is a low impact exercise that helps tone the whole body. All exercise is proven to reduce stress and increase energy! While traveling, there are a variety of apps that offer “no equipment needed” exercises and some hotels are offering unique fitness offerings and clothing rentals. Make sure to ask and give it a try.

Make it a Group Effort

It’s lonely being healthy and feeling great all by yourself. Enlist some of your coworkers, friends and family to join you this holiday season in staying healthy. It’s great to share a healthy meal or go get a salad with a coworker during the week to stay on track. Friends make awesome workout buddies and will love checking out that spin class with you. Family will enjoy trying healthier recipes together over the holiday season.

Take Time Off

We know being healthy isn’t all about eating right and exercising. Taking time out for you is beneficial for your health as well. Project Time Off says that people who take time off work are more productive, positive, have improved mental and physical health, and overall are happier. So use your time off, spend it with your loved ones and dedicate time doing what you love.

Unplug, recharge, and go into 2018 a happier, healthier, you.  

About Kara Ryan:

Kara graduated from Arizona State University with a Tourism Degree and has a background working with DMOs. With her public relations, social media, and digital marketing experience, she focuses on SearchWide’s social media presence, digital marketing efforts and managing the online user experience.