Tips to Eat Healthy and Stay Active During the Holidays
Resources to help you stay healthy and control holiday weight gain
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It's easy to eat too much and exercise too little during the holiday season. But it doesn't have to be that way. Although celebrations usually take place both at home and work, it is possible to enjoy this time of year while eating healthy and staying active.
The tips below will help you get started.
Control Your Portions
People tend to eat too much in part because food is everywhere during the holidays. However, there are a few techniques you can use to keep your weight in check and stay healthy. For one, serve yourself smaller portions and eat slowly so that you can tell more easily when you are satisfied. If you go to a restaurant, split a big meal with someone or take some home. Choosemyplate.gov has great tips on how to decrease portion sizes and how to overcome common stumbling blocks.
Get the Flu Shot
Getting vaccinated is your best protection for avoiding the flu and staying healthy during the holiday season. USA.gov has everything you need to know about this flu season, including tips for high risk groups and the types of vaccines available. Keep in mind that the flu vaccine becomes effective about two weeks after it's been administered, so the earlier you get it the better. Look up the closest pharmacy or vaccination center at flushot.healthmap.org.
Be Physically Active
Dancing is a great way to stay active and have fun, so don't be shy about hitting the dance floor at holiday parties. You can also try to get involved with other physical activities such as building a snowman with the family, or going to a gym or a community center if it's too cold to go for a walk outside. Most adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five days a week. The key is finding the exercise that works for your age, schedule and interests.
Drinking too much alcohol is bad for your health and dangerous if you will be driving. You can reduce your consumption of alcohol by setting personal limits, drinking nonalcoholic beverages, or resisting the temptation to drink. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has lots of tips on how to cut down, including suggestions on how to avoid triggers and setting consumption goals. It also has a simple questionnaire that will help you compare your drinking pattern to other adults in the United States.
Be Careful If You Have Diabetes
People with diabetes or other conditions need to be especially mindful about what they eat during the holiday season. Interrupting your normal eating patterns might cause serious consequences for your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resources to help you manage your diabetes during the holidays. It features tips on traveling for the holidays, including making sure you pack your medicine and carrying a medical identification that says you have diabetes.