During this season, it can be hard to maintain healthy habits with the temperature dropping and the abundance of comfort foods… But we’re here to help. Read these Healthy Holiday Tips to help you stay on track this season!
- Every year around this time, we crave those staple comfort holiday foods. Sometimes to prepare for the big meal, we skip earlier meals to be hungrier. Don’t deprive yourself to only end up overeating in the long run! Try eating a protein-packed snack before the meal, which will give you energy and allow you to pace yourself so not to compensate with overeating. When it’s time to eat, fill half of your plate with veggies. This time of year offers heavy calorie-packed foods, so instead of reaching for an extra dinner roll or piling on stuffing, go light on the carbs. It’s also a great time to try new vegetables that you’ve never had, or are made a different way.
- Don’t let dropping temperatures hinder your exercise routine! Before heading outside, check the forecast. Temperature, wind chill, and the length of time that you’ll be outside, are key factors in planning a safe cold-weather workout. Over-dressing is a big mistake when exercising in cold weather because you usually create a considerable amount of heat. Try dressing in layers that you can remove and put back on. Experiment to find the right combination of clothing for you based on your exercise intensity and body type.
- The first day of winter is December 22nd which means snow will start falling and it’s time for winter sports! Before you jump on the slopes, prepare your muscles for the rigorous activity with simple exercises. Follow this exercise from Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/01/29/skiing-workout_n_4689899.html
- When the snow starts piling up, don’t hurt yourself removing it. First, pick an ergonomic snow shovel, one with a curved handle that will minimize strain on your back and knees while keeping the shovel blade on the ground. Then warm up thoroughly before you step outside; march in place or perform another full-body activity to get your blood moving. Stretch your lower back and hamstrings with gentle stretching exercises. Limber up your arms and shoulders with a body hug; hold it for 30 – 60 seconds. Lastly, pace yourself and take breaks every 10-15 minutes if you feel overworked.
- The shopping season is in full swing; don’t put your body in pain when hitting the mall. Stick with comfort – from your shoes to your clothes. Walking from store to store puts a lot of stress on your feet and back; wearing comfortable shoes will allow you to stay out longer and not be in pain over the holidays. Also, with all of the shopping, it’s easy to forget to hydrate. Bring a water bottle with you on long shopping trips so you remember to drink water and don’t have to buy an expensive one in the food court.
- What’s in this season? If you’re buying for an athletic person (or want to give yourself a gift), check out this list of great holiday gifts you can get online for the athletes! https://runningfromanorexia.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/online-holiday-gift-giving-ideas-for-the-athletes-on-your-list
- The holidays can be stressful for many reasons, but it’s important to not let it overcome you. Discover the reasons why you are stressed or what triggers you. Avoid being overwhelmed by identifying priorities and making lists – this will make you visualize what’s actually important. Always remember to breathe; breathing exercises force you to slow down and focus on one vital thing. Watch and breathe along with this video, which has shown to slow breathing and focus your mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdbbtgf05Ek
- Falls are a very serious hazard this time of year. To prevent injury to your tail bone and back, invest in appropriate footwear like those from Yaktrax and KahtoolaInc’s Microspikes. Appalachian Mountain Club has more options to maintain traction this winter: http://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-outdoors/the-best-winter-traction-for-your-shoes-microspikes-stabilicers-icetrekkers-and-more/
- Sledding is a great winter activity for kids (and adults!), but it’s important to take safety precautions. Choose the right hill – don’t pick one that is too steep and ends in a street, parking lot, or body of water. Wear sensible winter clothing that is water-resistant, and avoid wearing loose scarves that can get caught and have a possibility of strangulation. Check out additional tips from Kids Health: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/safety-sledding.html?WT.ac=ctg
- Start of fresh in 2017! We offer a Wellness Check-Up that evaluates seven components of your health & fitness. At the end of your 90-minute session, you will have a customized ‘instruction manual’ for your body to keep you active and injury-free. Schedule yours today: https://spechtphysicaltherapy.com/services/physical-therapy-wellness-checkup/
- New year resolutions can sometimes be stressful to maintain. Ensure you stick with it, challenge yourself, and register for an event! It could be a run, hike, triathlon, or adventure race — make the commitment now and start your training plan. Read these 8 reasons why you should register today! https://www.myfooddiary.com/blog/8-reasons-to-register-for-a-fitness-event
- One of the best things you can do this time of year for mental and even physical health is to spend time with family and friends and cherish your loved ones.
From all of us at Specht, we wish you and your loved ones Happy Holidays!