Five R’s to Great Health during the Holidays

Ah, the holidays! Eat, drink and be merry, right?

Holiday Rest

At the end of your celebrations, do you often feel stressed, exhausted, overworked, and sluggish due to an overload of sweets, or even sick with a cold or the flu?

The holiday season is full of many fun celebrations with family members and friends, but the hustle and bustle of the extra activities can take a toll on your health.

Stay healthy this year by practicing the five R’s for great holidays:

Routine – During the holiday season people tend to get caught up in the decorating, feasting at special dinners and parties, and cramming shopping into their spare time. They are so busy, it is easy to justify skipping the normal fitness routine. National health experts report that many people add seven to 10 pounds of extra weight during the holiday season. Invest time in yourself. Write down a schedule that allows you to maintain your regular workout routine, even if it is a 30-minute walk each day. It’s important for your physical and mental health. No workout routine? Start one today!

Reduce, Restrict, Recharge – Most people get run-down during the holidays, making it difficult for their bodies to fight off viruses and sickness. It is also important to reduce exposure to potential sicknesses by avoiding large crowds, and regularly washing hands or using a hand sanitizer.

If you do feel ill, restrict your activities and allow your body time to recuperate. Although it may be difficult to miss that favorite party or to take time off work, you need to give your body a chance to recover and recharge. Often people find their illness is prolonged when they do not take time to recover fully. And it is important to stay away from others when you are ill to avoid spreading your germs.

Rest – Nothing can replace a good night’s sleep. Avoid staying up too late, and don’t forget to rest your mind and body by sleeping between seven and nine hours per night. Make healthy food choices during the holidays and stay hydrated by drinking water. Avoid spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol right before going to bed for a more restful night.

If you don’t get enough sleep, research shows that it can affect your memory, productivity, health and safety. Did you know that sleep deprivation also can contribute to obesity, high blood pressure and moodiness? Make the most of each day by sleeping well each night. And if you become too tired to function during the day, find a safe, quiet place to take a 15-45 minute nap.

Enjoy the holidays this season by investing time in your health. Your body will thank you!

What do you enjoy most about the holidays? What advice would you share with others for a happy and healthy holiday season? – Karen Gustin, Ameritas Group