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By Transamerica / Nov 23, 2015

6 Tips to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

maintain health holidays

Whether it’s stress, holiday parties, cold weather, or a combination, people tend to abandon their health goals around the holidays. It’s easy to see why, since there seems to be a shortage of time and a surplus of sweets, but there are still some simple ways to stay healthy during the holidays.

Make sure to exercise each day.

Taking the time to schedule exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself during the holiday season. Make sure that you do something for at least 30 minutes a day to help you keep the pounds off, since you may tend to eat more this time of year. Studies have shown that typically, people gain one pound a year and may not work it off. Those pounds add up over time.

If you think you can’t find a spare half hour to exercise, plan a family walk following dinner. This not only gives you family time but is a good way to exercise as a group, benefitting everyone. As a bonus benefit, exercise also releases endorphins, putting you in a merrier mood!

Eat holiday treats, but in moderation.

Paying attention to what you’re eating is probably the last thing you want to do during the holidays, but it doesn’t mean missing out on everything. Instead of biting into a storebought cookie that you could have anytime, hold out and save the calories for some home-baked goodies. When it comes time for the big holiday meals, try not to go overboard with your serving sizes. You can also swap your eating pants for your skinny jeans and let your clothes tell you when you’re full.

Start with eating your healthy foods first.

It’s tempting to want to load up your plate with mashed potatoes and grandma’s creamed corn, but start with your healthier options like fruit and salad first. These fill you up with nutritious foods that keep your body functioning in tiptop shape. Also, make sure you’re eating healthy, low-calorie snacks throughout the day, instead of holding out for a larger meal later. This can keep you from overeating and keeps your metabolism going.

Plan ahead.

An easy way to stay on-track with your health goals is to plan ahead. Even before your holiday schedule starts filling up, fill up your freezer with nutritious meals. This way when you’re running short on time, or your family is only together for a a quick meal, you can pop a premade dinner in the microwave or oven and enjoy something yummy and healthy.

Make realistic schedules.

Speaking of busy schedules, make sure your day planner looks realistic. There will always be things to do, so only concern yourself with the most important of those tasks. This way you’ll hopefully be able to continue getting your eight hours of sleep a night. If you still find that you’re too busy, you’ll have to start saying no to events that aren’t quite as important as others. Remember, it’s okay to say no sometimes. Most importantly, when you schedule in time to hang out with your friends and family, focus on them and not what you have to do when you leave. Enjoy yourself!

Watch your alcohol intake.

It goes without saying that too much alcohol isn’t a good thing, and that’s especially true during the holidays when we consume more food than usual. In addition to the calories your drink has, too much alcohol can also make you want to eat more than you should.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to a healthy holiday season, and get to spend even more quality time with your loved ones. And don’t forget to drink lots of water!

Still looking for healthy tips? Check out the Transamerica Center for Health Studies®.

About Transamerica Center for Health Studies®.

The Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS) is a division of the Transamerica Institute®, a nonprofit, private foundation. TI is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. TCHS is dedicated to identifying, researching and analyzing the most relevant health care issues facing consumers and employers nationwide. For more information about TCHS, please visit www.TransamericaCenterforHealthStudies.org.