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The holidays are here and that means the next six weeks will be filled with lots of family gatherings, holiday parties, treats galore, and a more frantic-than-usual schedule. We have some tips to help you stay in tiptop shape this holiday season.

Drink Enough Water – With savory holiday casseroles, holiday cocktails, and a never-ending dessert table, it can be easy to over do it when it comes to salt, sugar, and alcohol. Help keep your body running smoothly by making sure you stay hydrated. Adults should aim to drink between 72 and 104 oz per day. A bonus of staying hydrated means you’ll need to reach for the Chapstick less as well.

Manage Your Stress – Making time for your mental health is crucial this time of year. Whether that means saying no to one extra party or taking an extra long shower, make sure to do something for you during the holidays. Meditating, yoga, and exercise have all been shown to lower stress levels. A quick morning walk can help clear your head and keep you from feeling sluggish if you had one-too many Christmas cookies. 

Practice Mindful Nutrition – Everyone has a different strategy when it comes to staying balanced during the overload of food between Thanksgiving and New Years, finding one that works for you will help you be more successful. A few different strategies include:

  • Building a plate – At holiday gatherings and parties especially, plate all the food you eat and sit down to really enjoy it. This can help cut down on endless grazing.
  • Eating something healthy before – If showing up to the party hungry is a recipe for disaster try eating something simple but filling before heading out. A chicken breast and a small salad will give you protein to keep you full and don’t forget the vegetables.
  • Intermittent fasting – If late-night snacking on all the holiday goodies is your downfall, try implementing an eating window. Having an 8-to-12-hour window for eating is a popular way to limit your intake after certain hours, and it has the benefit of being customizable to your schedule.
  • Portion Control – Simply paying attention to the serving size can go a long way when trying to be healthier around the holidays. Start with one or two bites of each dish you’d like to try and only go back for seconds on your absolute favorites. 

Wash Your Hands Frequently – Not only is it cold and flu season, but COVID 19 is still rampant in parts of the country. Be sure to wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time, throughout the day and during gatherings, and use hand sanitizer when warm water and soap aren’t available. Make sure you use serving utensils for any food dishes. If you have any symptoms of illness like a cough, running nose, congestion or a fever stay home to help curb the spread of germs.