How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

By Molly Scott

The holiday season officially begins next week with Thanksgiving! Exciting, right? But, that feeling you get after stuffing yourself at the dinner table? Not exciting… and it’s also not healthy (unsurprisingly). Since it’s called the holiday season and there are many feasts, I’ve come up with a few tips to feeling healthy, staying fit, and not regretting that 3rd piece of pumpkin pie.

So much food… so little self-control!

Everything in moderation

This is true for everything in life, however, it’s especially important to remember while at a holiday gathering. Before scooping a giant heap of every food at the party on your plate, take a look around at the food and pick 4 or 5 “top” contenders that you really want. Then, take a small portion of each. Make sure there’s some protein on your plate (i.e. chicken, turkey, tofu, fish). Also, eat your meal slowly and savor every bite! The same goes for the dessert, except this time, only choose one slice of pie, or a few small cookies or goodies. After the party, you won’t feel sick and you’ll still have enjoyed your favorite seasonal treats.

Work out in your neighborhood
Since most of us are going to be home for the holidays, reconnect with your hometown while squeezing in exercise. Team up with a family member or friend and make it a way to catch up. Talk a walk and try to walk at a fast pace that gets your heart rate up. This will ensure that you’re burning plenty of calories. Or, take a jog by yourself and reacquaint yourself with your hometown. Enjoy the way your home looks in the beautiful fall foliage. Going for a bike ride is also a great option!



Water!
Staying hydrated throughout the day is very helpful in making it through the holidays. A great benefit to drinking water throughout the day is that it keeps you feeling full. This will be really helpful at your next meal: when you’re not starving, you don’t stuff yourself. Staying hydrated is also great for your skin, which will get dry during the chilly holiday season.

Keep from being sick this holiday season!

Spend time with the family… and time away from the family
This is what the holiday season is made for! Enjoy conversations and simply being around the ones you love. It will boost your mood and make you happier. However, it is extremely common to experience difficulties with your family or some of the members at this time of year. Be sure to take breaks and get out of the house (exercise is a great excuse!), listen to music, and just spend some alone time in your room if all the family time is causing anxiety.

Steer clear of sick family and friends
The holiday season is also the season for illness galore. While at school and at home, be sure to wash your hands often. It is also helpful to wash your hands before eating and keeping your hands AWAY from your face if your hands aren’t clean. If a family member or friend is sick, try not to come into close contact with them. If you are O.C.D. (like me) and really wish to take your illness-prevention steps to the next level, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching doorknobs, handles or public computers.

Molly is a first-year at Barnard and a Staff Writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Photos courtesy of JohnnyGoodTimes and the CDC

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