Let’s not linger too much on how different the holidays will be this year. You don’t need another article telling the same story. Instead, let’s focus on some of the ways we can keep ourselves healthy over the holidays, regardless of the circumstances. And, in the true holiday spirit, let’s talk about some ways that we can still keep a smile on our faces while being conscious of our health.
Because health and happiness should be synonymous, you shouldn’t feel so overburdened with finding ways to stay healthy that it sucks the joy out of your days. You should feel energized by your health choices and we’ll try to show you ways you can make that happen.
What can you do to stay healthy over the holidays?
There are lots of things you can do to stay healthy. Most of them are fairly simple but can potentially have a significant impact on your general well being. Like always, it’s important to speak with your doctor before changing any of your health habits. Even simple ones should be discussed. We want you to be safe and to be your best self. That starts with making sure that you can manage any suggestions we make below.
With that said, let’s get going.
Eat healthy foods (and their non-healthy options!)
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With the holidays comes the sugar craves. All those beautiful, tasty baked goods are nearly impossible to resist, and you shouldn’t have to. Not all of them, anyway. So here are some sweet treats and their healthy substitutes.
Treat: White Chocolate
Healthy substitute: Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has less sugar than regular or white chocolate.
Healthy substitute: Berries
Berries are still sweet but are high in fibre and have low sugar content.
Healthy substitute: Snack bars
Try choosing snack bars with whole oats and that don’t contain any additional sweeteners.
Healthy substitute: Yogurt
Make sure it’s sugar-free yogurt. Feel free to throw some berries in there for taste.
Drink lots of water
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Water isn’t just for staying hydrated. Research has proven that not drinking enough water can negatively impact your mood and memory. And according to nutritionist Nicola Shubrook, there are other health benefits of drinking water. Those benefits include:
- Reduced sugar cravings (which is great, so you don’t go overboard on the treats)
- It can help prevent kidney stones
- Getting over a hangover (think New Year’s day)
- Better managing of anxiety (according to some studies)
- Can help reduce headaches (as is suggested in this study)
Shubrook suggests between six and eight cups of water each day, more on days you workout. She also says that tea and coffee can be included in this intake if you reduce or remove the sugar. One way to gauge if you’re drinking enough water is to observe your urine. According to Shubrook, your urine should be pale yellow.
Make some time to exercise
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You had to know that this would be on the list. Although exercising regularly can sound daunting, it can actually be fun. Try finding an online yoga class that you enjoy and commit to doing it once or twice a week. Just getting out and walking is also an option, and if you’re up for it, try taking a hike if the weather permits (make sure you’re following pandemic guidelines in your region). Boomerang has also listed a number of ways to stay active without leaving your house.
Get some rest
Yes, we said to rest and not sleep. Of course, getting enough sleep is crucial to your health, but both are important and should be looked at as two different things. Rest refers to taking a break from daily activities. During the holidays, we get so caught up in wanting to bake, buy presents, and see our families (virtually) that we don’t take some time out to give our body and mind a break. But M.D Heather Moday says that “Making time for rest can recharge your ability to deal with commitments, relationships and impact your overall health.” In the midst of the hustle and bustle that comes with the holidays, make sure you’re taking timeout to slow things all the way down, so you’re better able to manage the demands of the season.
Boost your immune system
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According to Harvard Health, there are a few ways to safely boost your immune system.
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Don’t smoke
- Exercise regularly
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Get enough sleep (eight hours recommended)
Pick up a new hobby
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There are lots of hobbies that can make a positive impact on your daily life. Activities like painting, knitting, writing and yoga are all things that keep you entertained while also keeping your mind active. Check out some of the health benefits of these hobbies:
These are just a few of the ways Boomerang helps you learn new skills while potentially improving your health and connecting with a broader community. Our workshops are led by experienced and talented hosts who make you feel welcomed no matter your skill level. You’ll have fun engaging in the workshops of your preference and leave having explored new parts of yourself.