Need Energy for the Holidays?

The holidays can be filled with joy as you spend time with loved ones, eat good food and observe important traditions. But, these activities may keep you on the go more than usual.

It's important to find ways to recharge your batteries. Here are helpful hints that can help keep you healthy and energized:

  1. Walk in a winter wonderland. Exercising every day will help you sleep better and feel more fit and full of pep. For safety's sake, however check with your doctor before significantly increasing your level of physical activity.
  2. Don't fast and feast. Try to refuel with small meals every three to four hours while you're awake. Fasting before a holiday meal may lead to overeating, so consider having a light snack beforehand.
  3. Take it easy with the sugarplums. You don't have to skip holiday desserts, but try to keep your fat and sugar intake low. Fill up on fruits, veggies and whole grains, and be sure to start the day with a nutritious breakfast.
  4. Enjoy your nightly hibernation. Try to sleep on a regular schedule. Don't eat for two to three hours before bedtime. Also, limit caffeine and alcohol – they interfere with sleep.

These recommendations can provide health benefits beyond just boosting your energy. They also can help you feel better, maintain a healthy weight and prevent disease.

Manage holiday stress

Good sleep, a healthful diet and regular exercise are keys to helping you manage holiday stress. In addition, these tips may help reduce your stress:

  • Stick to your family's regular routine, when possible.
  • Make priorities, and don't feel like you have to do everything.
  • Stay within your budget. Make or do things together instead of spending money.
  • Take time to relax. Play a board game, read a book, go for a walk or take a bath.
  • Stretch tense neck and shoulder muscles when standing in line or sitting in traffic.
  • Volunteer your time. Helping others may help rekindle the spirit of the holidays.

Source: Healthy Mind Healthy Body®, December 2008.