5 Tips to Staying Healthy Throughout the Holiday Season

Monday, November 21, 2016

Looking to get a head start on your New Year’s resolution? Determined not to gain the “holiday five” this year? Schedules during the holiday season fill up fast and temptations are plenty, but with a little planning ahead you can ensure your health remains a top priority. Consider these five ways to make a positive impact on your health this holiday season.

Participate in Community Events
early and take advantage of the area’s many community events this holiday season. Check out the Festival Foods Turkey Trot, which consists of a 5 mile run or a 2 mile (pet friendly) walk on Thanksgiving morning. Other local events include the 15K/5K Noodlini Run/Walk in De Pere and the Jingle Bell Run in Green Bay. For those who thrive on a little more adrenaline, check out the many mountain and fat bike rides going on all winter. Or, enjoy a casual outdoor stroll through the WPS Garden of Lights at the Green Bay Botanical Garden starting November 25th. With many events taking place throughout the winter months, the opportunities are endless to enjoy plenty of time outside and to be active and healthy with family and friends.

Turkey Trot Annual Thanksgiving Event

You Can’t Out Run Your Fork
No amount of fitness can overcome poor nutrition habits. Before you indulge in this year’s holiday buffet, consider using a smaller plate instead of a traditional dinner plate. Using a smaller plate will give you the same visual effect of having a full plate of food, but with significantly less volume actually consumed. Before digging into the snacks, appetizers, and dessert this year, take time to evaluate your actual hunger level. Delay your indulgence by drinking a glass of water, chewing a piece of gum, and waiting 10 minutes. If you are still hungry after completing these steps, go for it. If not, you may have saved yourself unnecessary calories that your body does not need.

Change of Season Equals Change of Routine
Summer activities can be very repetitive. Your body goes through thousands of repetitions while participating in summer events such as running, biking, and kayaking. The body adapts and becomes more efficient the more it performs the same movement. With the change of the season and the introduction of cooler weather, give your body the opportunity to change as well. Try a new style fitness class such as TRX Suspension Training, kettlebells, barre, or yoga. Learning a new skill requires more energy than performing exercises you have already mastered. This simple change in routine can help you fight off those pesky winter pounds.

Fitness with Friends
One of the best aspects of the season is having out-of-town relatives and friends come home for the holidays. Rather than meeting at a bar or restaurant to catch up, look for special incentives at your favorite gym or fitness studio. Many offer great deals for referring a friend and offer free guest passes. Some organizations host special Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve workouts to support charity. Other classes may be holiday themed, which put a fun spin on fitness. Engaging in these activities with loved ones can deepen your relationship and help keep your health on track. Now that’s what I call putting the “win” in “WIN-ter!”

As the holidays get closer and schedules get busier, take time to prioritize your health. Take advantage of these opportunities to stay active and healthy throughout the entire holiday season.

Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
Workplace Wellness Coordinator & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist