Wondering how to stay healthy this holiday season? Looking for tips on your diet or exercise routine to build healthy habits? The doctors at Proliance Orthopedic Associates can help you learn more about the best practices for your health. We provide a wide variety of orthopedic services for our patients, specializing in joint replacement, sports medicine, occupational medicine, and more. Please contact us today for a consultation.
There’s no time like the holidays for spending time with family and friends, or getting some rest from work. There is also no other time of year that tests your healthy lifestyle like the holidays do. During this season there’s a constant temptation to ditch your exercise regimen because of the cold weather, or indulge in the tasty treats found at every turn. It’s no easy feat to make healthy decisions during festivities, however, with some planning and motivation, it’s certainly doable. Here are some tips for you to practice this season:
Lack of physical activity and weight gain are the close companions of joint pain. Staying a healthy weight during the holidays and keeping joint problems away simply requires more preparation. Think about what you’re going to eat during the day, and make sure you consider what you might eat at holiday gatherings. Know what food items you’re going to limit, and which are special enough to treat yourself to. Try not to “save yourself” for larger meals, and instead opt to keep yourself somewhat full throughout the day with smaller, more frequent portions.
To increase the likelihood that you exercise, place your workout gear somewhere you can’t avoid seeing it – for example, right next to your bed. Make plans with a friend to walk together, play sports, or try a new fitness class. Regardless of your fitness level, if you remove obstacles beforehand and have others keep you accountable, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your exercise plans.
When you predict what you’re going to be eating at holiday functions and throughout your everyday, it’s important to be honest with yourself. If you have a weakness for your uncle’s sweet potato soufflé, understand that it’s likely you’re going to have some, whether you’re dieting or not. The key is to be aware of potential setbacks, and not let them discourage you if they happen – have a plan to get yourself back on track in a worst-case scenario. It’s also essential to set achievable goals. If you’re aiming for 10 pounds of weight loss during the holidays, maybe reevaluate and make it a priority to simply exercise three times a week instead.
When you’re questioning whether to workout, or find yourself standing at a buffet table, there a few simple tips you can incorporate to increase your likelihood of staying healthy. Choosing healthy alternatives whenever possible helps, especially while cooking. Swap out ingredients, like coconut oil instead of butter, or black beans in place of all-purpose flour. Try to fill half your plate with vegetables or fruits, or even start off with a smaller plate – it’s not uncommon for people to finish the food on their plate, even if it’s more than what they need to feel full. Rather than limiting what you eat, allow yourself some dessert, but eat mindfully when you do. It’s also important to be cautious of alcohol because it can lead to poor health decisions, including larger portions. Limit your drink intake, save it for after the main course, or don’t drink altogether.
While it may be easier to gain weight or stop working out during the holidays, it’s not inevitable. Practicing these tips will set yourself up for success in the year ahead, and help you to enjoy the happiest of holidays by keeping yourself healthy.