How to Stay Healthy and Safe This Holiday Season

 In Holiday Time and Health

With so much going on around the holidays, it can be easy to put your health on the backburner. Busy schedules make it harder to prepare and enjoy home cooked meals, while the seemingly constant stream of parties and special events makes it easy to mindlessly snack and sip.

Rather than overindulge and then try to make up for it after the first of the year, try taking small steps to make health and fitness a priority this December. Here are some simple ways to start.

Health and the Holidays

Female eating an apple

Munch in moderation

The holidays are a celebratory time, so let yourself have a little fun. If you’re craving a sugar cookie or specialty cocktail, go ahead and have one. Giving yourself a small taste of what you want now may help you avoid overindulging later.

Try new workouts

It’s easy to let health and fitness slide during the winter, when it’s colder outside and it gets dark earlier. If you find yourself in an end-of-year fitness funk, consider injecting something new into your workout routine. Sick of running or hitting the gym? Get a change of scenery by trying figure skating, swimming, hiking or even walking laps at the local mall.

Man checking a fitness tracker watch

Track your progress

Fitness trackers, food logs and even old-school calendars can help you establish – and stick to – new routines. Consider investing in a fitness watch or activity tracker for a daily reminder to get up and get moving.

Holiday Season Safety

You can also help keep spirits high this holiday season by taking extra steps to keep your family and loves ones safe. During get-togethers, remember to:

Practice food safety

Nothing ruins a holiday faster than food poisoning, so it’s essential that you prepare turkey, prime rib or other holiday favorites properly. Wash hands and surfaces regularly, use meat thermometers to ensure proteins are fully cooked and make sure to refrigerate leftovers promptly.

Practice fire safety

Studies show that most residential fires occur during the winter months, and this may be due in part to the increased use of space heaters, fireplaces and candles. Never use any of these items unattended, and make sure to have an emergency fire escape plan in place, should the need arise.

Dinner Party with Friends Drinking

Avoid drinking and driving

Drunk driving deaths spike during the holidays, and all such deaths are avoidable. Don’t get behind the wheel after drinking, and don’t get in the car with anyone who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Lighter Takes on Christmas Classics

Hosting a holiday party or family get-together this December? Forgo calorie-rich Christmas dishes in favor of these lighter, arguably even more flavorful, alternatives.

Plan for a Happy, Healthy Year Ahead

As 2021 comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on the year that was and plan for what’s to come. A new year means a new opportunity to make a fresh start, so if you’re looking to cut calories, move more, sleep better or establish all-around healthier habits, put it in writing! By making realistic goals and putting them down on paper, you can boost the chances of creating a new routine you’ll actually stick to.

Don’t let the stretch between November and New Years’ throw off a year’s worth of hard work. By enjoying treats in moderation, maintaining fitness levels and making moves to keep your friends and family safe, happy and healthy, you can set yourself up for a fantastic holiday season – and an equally rewarding year ahead.

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