Written By Julie Paiva, CHHC
Don’t wait for the New Year’s ball to drop to get started on some healthy lifestyle changes. Here are three truths to remind us that being healthy really is simpler than it is made out to be. You don’t have to sacrifice fun, family time, or good cheer to set yourself up for a good year ahead! Incorporate these tips now and you are likely to have your healthiest year yet.
Exercising doesn’t have to be complicated
You don’t have to join a gym or a group fitness class to increase your calorie burn and reap the benefits of exercise. It really can be as simple as starting or ending your day with a walk, run, or even a fun physical activity that involves the whole family. Movement is the best thing you can do for your body to ward off that dreaded holiday weight gain. It also helps improve your mood and can encourage quality family time without it being centered around food. You can use this time to have meaningful conversations with your children while out and about. You might be surprised by how much your children enjoy it. Once you get them into a routine, you will find that they are holding you accountable about going each day.
Eating healthy isn’t impossible (even during the holidays)
A little bit of planning and will power are really all you need to eating a healthful diet all year round but especially during this time. There are usually many holiday gatherings the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Plan ahead so that you don’t fall off track at these outings. Know that most holiday gatherings are going to have food. Typically rich sugary sweets will be served. Set yourself up for success by bringing a healthy dish. A bowl of berries, a large green salad, or a vegetable tray is quick and simple to put together. Your dish will add colorful nutrition and balance to the other sweets and processed foods on the table. Better yet … If you are hosting, start a new tradition where everyone brings a healthier, slimmed-down dish.
Expressing gratitude shouldn’t be a once a year practice
It’s funny how even in this time of giving and receiving gifts, it is still easy to fall into the trap of comparison and discontent. Purpose to focus on all the many blessings in your life and see how this perspective shift affects your overall mood and the mood of those around you. Teaching this practice to your children is a blessing in and of itself. The expression of gratitude helps you feel happier and be more mindful of the things around you. While in the car or at the dinner table, share something you are grateful for. You can even play the alphabet game with gratitude. The first person says something that they are grateful for that starts with the letter “A” then the next person letter “B” and so on.
Adding in small healthy choices to your day will help you feel better, look better and enjoy the company of those around you. Add in some of these tips this last week before we ring in 2018, and you will give yourself and your family a little boost into a healthy and happy New Year.