Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Let's be real, in Southern California we don't really have 'seasons'... We pay a HIGH Sunshine Tax (one that, to me, is worth EVERY penny) to have sunny and 70 degree weather most of the year round.

But for the rest of the country, November brings with it cooler temperatures (unfortunately, if you are in Michigan you will probably have your fair share of that white stuff too), falling leaves, pumpkin flavor (which isn't really my jam... I know, I'm weird), and often times a case or two of the sniffles.


I know you can't always avoid getting sick, but I thought I'd throw out some of my top tips on trying to stay healthy during the holiday season.


Although it might not be as warm or humid as the summer months, it is still important to stay hydrated. And I don't mean fill up on pumpkin spiced lattes or hot cocoas, I mean that good old H2O! It can be harder to keep up on your water intake during the cooler months, but it is just as important. Some ideas to help you stay hydrated - drink a glass of water (or two) before your morning coffee, always keep a reusable bottle with you, infuse your water with another flavor (i.e. lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, etc), set alarms on your phone to remind you to hydrate throughout the day, add markings on your water bottle with the times in which you need to drink a certain amount by, or drink out of a straw (you tend to drink more and faster this way).


Wash Your Hands!

Have you ever heard the saying "Wash your hands and say your prayers because Jesus and germs are everywhere"? Well, it's true! Often times it seems unavoidable to pick up those nasty little germs around this time of the year. Washing your hands frequently (and trying to avoid touching your face or mouth) can definitely cut down on the bad stuff making its way inside.


Don't Over Indulge!

Now don't get me wrong, I know the autumn weeks (which quickly turn into winter months) also bring with them family, friends and festivities. I am NOT saying not to have a cookie or a slice of pie at those holiday gatherings, but I am suggesting to limit the intake. For me, if I eat like crap, I feel like crap. Some ideas on how to keep the sweets and treats to a minimum - have a large glass of water before eating (sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger), chew gum (you will be less likely to want to put something else in your mouth), allow yourself one indulgence per event, always keep something in your hand so you are less likely to grab at a dish being passed, and move away from the buffet (when you are eating or socializing, move to an area away from the buffet so you can focus on what you have and won't be as tempted to go back for more). 


Get Your Fruits & Veggies!

Don't they say "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? For some reason I don't think that means an extra slice of apple pie (what a bummer, huh?!). I am blessed to live in an area where it is easy to get great fruits and veggies year round, but if you don't that doesn't mean you are off the hook. You should still try to get as much fresh produce as possible (and as a last resort add some extra supplements to your diet to make sure you are getting the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to keep it in tip-top shape).



I totally understand it is harder to get your workouts in when it is colder outside, not to mention we have less hours of sunlight. Even so, you've got to make them happen! [I'll be totally honest, I don't know if I would have gotten into running if I still lived in Michigan. The winters can be BRUTAL! So please don't think I am unsympathetic to your environment. But I know if it's important to you, you'll make it happen - if not, you'll make excuses.] If you need to join a gym, sign up for yoga classes, find an accountability partner, add a spring race to your calendar so you know you need to train, ask Santa for new workout gear for Christmas, DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! 


And if all else fails, you can always move to sunny Southern California ;) 

Are there any tips I left off the list?

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