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How to Be Healthy Through the Holidays

Family in kitchen cooking

Don’t let the hectic holiday schedule and party foods derail your health, nutrition and fitness goals. Sure, you want to have fun, but not so much you regret it come New Year’s Day. Stay committed with these tips for a healthier and happier holiday season.

Be committed

There is nothing more important than your health. Without it, you can’t do all you need to for your loved ones so make a commitment to set and maintain your health goals.

  • Commit to exercising at least 30 minutes a day, every day.
  • Commit to eating a healthier diet.
  • Choose to make these commitments a priority over the extra events you plan to attend this holiday season.

Be choosy

Instead of thinking of how to cram in the exercise around your schedule, work your schedule around the exercise. You can choose to add in tons of extra activities and run around stressing about getting it all done, or you can choose to do fewer activities well and stress less.

  • Say no to events and requests for help that will make your life too busy for healthy living.
  • Say yes to the foods that are best for you and eat those first before selecting the less healthy dishes from the buffet table.
  • Say yes to smaller portions of the foods with higher fat content.

Be flexible

The holiday season tends to be busier and all the extra events alter your schedule from the norm. If your exercise class is at a specific time and you will miss it because of holiday parties or kid’s recitals, then plan for another time and different activity.

  • Rework your exercise options. Prepare for the busy times and bad weather with exercise that you can do from home.
  • Reshape your workout from your regular 30-minute chunk to two 15-minute exercise sessions.
  • Relearn to eat by grazing when presented with a buffet of rich and delicious holiday food. Take small portions of the various dishes so you have a little taste of everything.

Be creative

Find ways to combine your exercise and time with your friends and family. Get support for creative exercising and dining through your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation office.

  • Catch some air. Gather your friends, siblings, parents or kids for a game of basketball, touch football, catch or kickball.
  • Take a hike. If the kids or your significant other have a sports practice or music lesson, take that time to walk around the area instead of reading or gaming from your smartphone.
  • Clean the house and stay physically active in one step. Imagine you are at the gym as you vacuum and dust. Have fun with your chores.
  • Fuel up before you go. Drink plenty of water and eat some fruits or vegetables before you leave for the party. You won’t need to eat as much once you’re there.
  • Trick your stomach. Use smaller plates when eating at a buffet. Bring sugar-free mints to pop as soon as you are finished with your meal. The mint helps curb the urge to munch.

You’re not alone when you make the commitment to stay healthy. Contact a Military OneSource health and wellness coach for help developing a plan for exercise and healthy eating during the holidays. You can make an appointment for a phone, online or video session by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? View calling options.

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