Staying fit and healthy during the holidays

The holidays, especially December, is a time to rest, recharge and be with family and loved ones.  Staying healthy and fit might not be on everyone’s list.  However, if you are one of those people who would love to continue your routine, but in a more relaxed way, then here are a couple of tips for this time of year.

Going to the gym might not be a choice for everyone during this month.  Depending on where you live, there are many other ways to keep moving and staying fit.  For example, online classes, walking or running outside, hiking, swimming, skiing and the like, are all other forms of exercising outside the traditional gym.  If you are one of those people who feels that their bodies are tired, opt for doing more stretching exercises like Pilates and/or Yoga.  Both these exercise routines are not just focusing on core strength, but also on stretching and unwinding, as they both focus on breathing and relaxing.

Being outside, regardless of the temperatures (in most cases of course), is not just good for the body, but also for our mind and general well-being.  There is nothing better than being out and about in fresh air; it is wonderful for the immune system and a feast for our senses.  For my readers, living in, or visiting, the Northern Hemisphere, make sure to take a Vitamin D-tablet on a regular basis.  Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin for a reason.  Not only does it keep your immune system strong and healthy, but it also feeds your brain and, in turn, your moods.

For those readers in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoy the outdoors and sunshine.  Take care not to be in the sun when it is at its hottest; especially if you are not used to it.  The sunshine in the Southern Hemisphere is definitely warmer than in the Northern Hemisphere.  Make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses and protect your skin with some sunscreen.  Regardless where you are in December, make sure to drink enough fluids.  You can still dehydrate if you are spending most of your days indoors, in heating, just like being outdoors.

When it comes to your diet, it is definitely not the end of the world if you “cheat” here and there.  Nobody wants to be eating only salads this time of year!  As always, it is not what you eat but the amount that you eat.  If you do “cheat” and eat a rich cake, for example, never beat yourself up about it.  Enjoy it and know that, once the holidays are over, you can easily slip back into your regular routine.  For those who are cooking, you can choose to use low fat cream, low fat cheese, and so forth, instead of the full cream-versions. 

For most people, this time of year is a time for relaxation, unwinding and just being still.  Indeed, there are people who continue to work, but even they want to spend time, in-between, just to relax and be with loved ones.  Go out and have fun; if you are alone, then meet up with friends, colleagues or family (if possible) and do something together. 

The holiday season is a time when we should be focusing on relaxing, being still and recharging our batteries.  Have that piece of Christmas cake; have the glass of egg nog – just enjoy this time and get back into your routine in January.  At the end of the day, it is not what you eat and drink, but the amount (and portion sizes), that count!  Keep moving, stretch before you go to bed and/or before getting out of bed to keep the circulation going, and have a great time!

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