From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the opportunities to indulge in festive, high-caloric feasts and stray from our normal physical routines are plentiful. While the holiday spirit may keep us from dwelling on the physical impacts these weeks may have on our bodies, we too often face an unfortunate reality in January when pants fit snugly and our normal exercise routines are more difficult.
The reaction of many people fearing a displeasing physical situation in the new year is to avoid all festivities and the foods that come along – the holiday party hors d’oeuvres, the desserts, egg nog and ciders. This type of approach, while possibly healthy, does not always make for a happy holiday season! Instead, with careful monitoring of your physical activity and indulgence, you can enjoy a bit of everything this winter season offers while remaining physically fit.
Balance your diet of holiday snacks with healthy meals.
Throughout the season, continue to focus on your regular eating patterns, beginning with a nutrient-rich breakfast each morning. Eating healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners prior to holiday parties will ensure you are not famished when you arrive at an event full of calorie-rich appetizers and desserts. With proper and consistent eating patterns, you will be able to enjoy a small sampling of holiday treats while not being tempted to overindulge.
Maintain your current levels of physical activity, even if your holiday schedule changes your daily routine.
Throughout the next month, travel to visit family and friends as well as vacation days taken from work may threaten to affect your workout routine. If you cannot access your gym or fitness equipment due to being out of town, find other ways to be active. Encourage family members you have traveled with to join you on morning walks or for other physical activities that do not require equipment, such as aerobic exercises and stretches. Remember that taking the day off from work doesn’t mean you have to take time off from exercise, too, and keeping up your physical activity will make you more energetic for your vacation day activities.
Stick to your regular sleep patterns.
How enthused you are to exercise and eat well can often depend on how you slept the night before, and shopping, seasonal entertainment, visits with family and friends, travel and rearranged work days can severely impact your typical sleep schedule. Try to maintain your consist sleep schedule throughout the season to avoid fatigue that will interfere with your mood and health.
Don’t stress (or try to stress less).
Yes, it is true that the holiday season has the potential to impact your exercise and eating habits, causing small amounts of weight gain to occur. This busy time of year can bring plenty of stress your way, which can impact your weight as well as cause headaches and skin problems. Through the tips above – eating well, exercising and getting adequate sleep – as well as condensing your holiday to-do list to a manageable size, your lower stress level will keep you from reaching for comfort foods or swapping healthy meals for fast food options.
As you enjoy the season’s best treats and exercising in beautiful and crisp winter weather, the staff at The Plastic Surgery Group wishes everyone in the Capital Region a happy and healthy month of December. With the right level of physical care and attention, we are sure you will be able to manage your weight… and celebrate! Warm wishes from your favorite team of plastic surgeons in Albany, NY.