How to find peace and well-being during this festive (and hectic!) time of year
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…it’s also the season of heartburn, headaches and hangovers. So, as you enjoy the season, be sure to keep your health in mind. Here are 10 healthy holiday tips that can help keep you feeling your best.
# 1. Get your sleep – the best case scenario is to get a full eight hours of sleep a night. Sometimes, especially during a hectic holiday season, that’s just not possible. So, to ensure that the sleep you do get is as high quality as possible, try to refrain from watching TV right before turning in and don’t eat a heavy meal in the two hours leading up to going to bed.
#2. Drink your water – dehydration can cause fatigue and poor concentration, which can slow you down anytime, but definitely during the holidays. Doctors recommend that you drink eight glasses of water a day. It helps keep you hydrated, flush toxins from your vital organs and keeps your body’s systems running smoothly.
#3. Get some sunshine – while we’ve come a long way in sun block protection and reducing sunburn (and its harmful and even cancerous effects), humans now are exposed to less sunshine than any other time in history. Because vitamin D is such a critical vitamin and sunshine is the primary source, there are now unprecedented levels of vitamin D deficiency. So, be smart about your sun protection, but get outside and get some vitamin D.
#4. Eat Healthy – One of the best ways to feel (and be!) healthy is to eat healthy. Instead of trying to cut out a whole class of foods (eating no fats, for example), it’s best to eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. A good rule of thumb is also to eat a variety of foods with different rich colors (think dark green spinach, purple eggplant and orange carrots).
#5. Don’t overindulge when it comes to food – this tip builds on #4. For many families, the holidays mean food…a lot of food. Many doctors recommend that you eat until you feel 70-80% full, not “stuffed.” By not-overdoing it, you will be far more likely to avoid heartburn, indigestion and the five holiday pounds that often sneak in!
#6. Toast to the season, but don’t take too many sips – many doctors agree that there are health benefits associated with alcohol – especially red wine – in moderation. But, if the holidays have taught us anything, it’s that there can be too much of a good thing. So, if you are sipping red wine, egg nog or your favorite holiday cocktail, pace yourself.
#7. Don’t forget to move – everyone knows that getting your exercise can reduce your stress, keep your heart healthy and keep your weight in check. It’s also a great way to enjoy the holidays. Walk around your neighborhood. See the lights. Say hi to your neighbors. Maybe even give your dog some holiday exercise. Everyone will be happier.
#8. Acupuncture – I see a lot of harried patients around the holidays that find relief after acupuncture. If the season gets to be too much, a licensed acupuncture expert can help customize a treatment regimen that eases pain, decreases stress or even helps you sleep better.
#9. Relax, slow down and enjoy – Remember that one of the best ways to keep your body healthy is to keep it relaxed and de-stressed. Breathe. Take a moment for yourself. Clear you mind. This will undoubtedly help you enjoy the holidays a bit more.
# 10. Spend time with family and friends – the holidays are about a lot of things, but one of the most important is your family and friends. Make sure to spend time with them and enjoy the season!