There’s eggnog and pumpkin pie and turkey and ham and cookies oh my…Maintaining nutritious eating and a healthy lifestyle during the holidays can be quite a challenge for anyone. There are many parties and other social gatherings for work, family and friends. No one wants to miss these special occasions, so it is important to know ahead of time how to best handle all the temptations of eating, drinking and staying up later than we are accustomed to. Here are some ways to help you stay on course during this year’s holiday season.
Get enough rest. Take a nap for even a half an hour before you go out, if you can. Getting enough sleep will help you to eat less and exercise more.
Maintain your workout regime. If you can’t make it to the gym, plan a walk, run or some cardio at home. Try to schedule your workouts in the morning, to avoid casually dismissing them when the late-afternoon rush is upon you. Plus, you won’t feel as guilty when you indulge on a sweet or two.
Think about what you will do before you arrive. Plan your eating behaviour. Limit the amount of drinks and sweets you’ll have. Eat some healthy snacks before you go so you aren’t hungry when you arrive.
Drink lots of water. Have a couple of glasses before you go and alternate higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog or hot chocolate with water while you are at the holiday party. Drinks can have a lot of hidden calories in them.
Be aware of what you are putting on your plate if you are served buffet style. Take a small amount of everything you like so you will not feel deprived. Try to forego the bread baskets so you don’t fill up on too much carbohydrates. Fill your plate with some “good” foods first. Load up the plate with lean meats, vegetables and fruit. Watch out you don’t overdo it on the dips.
Walk as often as you can. If you will be at someone’s home for an extended period of time, excuse yourself to go for a walk. Take a break from eating and get some fresh air.
To keep healthy eating habits over the holidays make sure you eat several small meals a day. This old tip holds especially true during the holiday season. We tend to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner with the entire family. Don’t starve yourself all day. Get some snacks in and most importantly start your day with a good healthy breakfast. You will be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar.
Remember the importance of this time of year, friends, family and loved ones. Put your attention on spending quality time with those you love and engaging in fun activities. The holiday season does not have to revolve around eating.
Being healthy and active will help us all live longer. It is important to keep up with an exercise program as we get older. The benefits of exercise for senior citizens can be truly life changing. Even a small amount of increased physical activity can benefit your functional health as a senior. Improve your mental functions, socialize with friends and help prevent injury and falls – what better reasons do you have as a senior then to stay active and exercise.
There are four basic components to correct exercise for seniors that will lead to healthy living: cardio, strength, flexibility and balance.
Cardio training is an activity that increases the heart rate. Good exercises that are appropriate for seniors include: walking, swimming and bike riding. All are gentle on the joints. Doing this type of exercise 3 or more times a week is essential.
Strength building exercises are also important for seniors. As we age our muscles slowly begin to decline in their size. The more a muscle is not used, the more it will shrink. It is important to exercise with light weights a few times a week to keep the muscles strong.
Flexibility and Stretching Exercise
For good posture and healthy joints it is important for seniors to undertake a few minutes each day or every other day and include a regime of stretching exercises. Exercises that involve stretching help keep the body flexible.
Balance exercises are often overlooked. However, it is very important for helping prevent slip and fall accidents.
Benefits of Regular Exercise
Improved Overall Health
Lowered Risk of Bone Fracture (including Hips)
Lower Risk of Lung, Breast and Colon Cancers
Stabilized Blood Sugar Reducing Type II Diabetes
Better Balance and Bone Strength
Here is 4 easy stretching and fitness exercises to get you started.
Shoulder Rotation – Stretch your arms downwards, stretch your hands open and hold for a few seconds. Switch and stretch arms upwards and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 5 times.
Walking – Walking is a great form of exercise that can be done by most people. Join a walking club, or walk with friends in your community. Try for at least 30 minutes at a good pace.
Balancing – With a table, railing or chair nearby for aid, slowly rise up on your toes and hold for several seconds. Slowly lower yourself back onto your flat footing. Repeat 10 times.
V – Shaped Stretch – Reach up with both hands straight above the head. Slowly bend at your waist so your hands reach towards the floor. Hold for several seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Find an activity you enjoy and get out there, invite friends to join you and make it even more fun.