This is the time of year where everyone has problem keeping to their diet and fitness plans. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s you will be faced with lots of food and drink, and not as much time to watch calories and to hit the gym. For many people this is a tough time and will lead to another New Year’s resolution that you probably won’t keep. But fear not, if you put your mind to it, it can be done!
Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and food. The three f’s is a recipe for a great time, but also can result in a day of excesses. This starts the day before Thanksgiving which is one of the busiest nights for bars and taverns. It’s a time when you get together with friends, co-workers and others that you don’t see on a regular basis. A night of heavy drinking and eating is the start of the holiday season and can be the start of a series of bad choices regarding your diet and exercise routines.
Thanksgiving Day is one of the best days of the year for families. It’s a day you spend watching parades, watching football and eating an unhealthy amount of food. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and desserts as much as anyone. In fact, it’s my favorite holiday when it comes to food. The problem comes from sitting around after having a big meal. Probably the worst thing you can do after a big meal is sitting around being uncomfortable.
The difficulties in eating and drinking during the holidays continue throughout December. In addition to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many people have home parties and work holiday parties which tempts you with more food and drink. From experience I find that the month of December is the toughest to stay healthy. I usually am on the run for most of the month between work, home, kids, school concerts, shopping, parties and dozens of other distractions, which makes eating right and exercising properly very difficult.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we find ourselves bouncing between our families. Fortunately, my husband’s family and mine are all within an easy drive, so we can stay in our own beds and drive to where we need to be. On the bad side, the combination of being in the car and eating big meals at our family’s houses are not the best for our health.
And of course, New Year’s Eve is another time where we may not take care of ourselves like we should. We usually have a house party with lots of food, lots to drink and lots of people to take care of. Just another day where diet and exercise take a back seat to a good time.
So, what can you do to stay healthy and eat healthy? It’s difficult, but it can be done. I try to carve out a few minutes to either go for a brief jog or do some easy exercises at home. Going to the gym may have to wait until January, but if you put your mind to it, you should be able to find a little time.
As for the heavy eating holidays, after dinner I try to round up some willing (or unwilling) volunteers to go on a walk. A little bit of movement is a great way to work off some of the big meal that I had. It may not be the best exercise routine, but it usually makes me feel better and more comfortable for the rest of the day.
The bottom line to staying healthy despite the hectic holiday season is to find a little time to take care of yourself. Good luck to you this holiday season!