It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is already upon us, and with its arrival comes fun social engagements, indulgent treats, and exhaustion. Let’s be honest, while the holidays are truly one of the greatest times of the year, they can be very tiring and can often leave us feeling run down and burned out if we entirely disregard our routines for eight weeks. Like with all things, staying healthy during the holidays is a balancing act between enjoying your favorite indulgences and maintaining your fitness, nutrition, and recovery. One of our goals at Red Leaf is to provide you with high quality products and resources to help you live your healthiest life, especially when life throws some curveballs as it does during the holiday season. This week officially kicks off our annual Healthy During the Holidays program and to start it off strong, we are bringing you our 10 tips for staying healthy over the next eight weeks of celebrations.
1. Prioritize Movement
Exercise is one of the greatest things we can do to strengthen our immune systems, but it is often neglected when we are short on time, traveling, and having fun with friends and family. But here’s the thing: we can exercise in lots of ways, but if we limit ourselves to only exercising at the gym, it’s easy to miss a “workout” when we get busy. This is why we recommend prioritizing movement over exercise during the holiday season. As often as you’re able, make it to the gym or your traditional workout routine. But on days where you don’t have time to spare, focus on moving more throughout the day. Take a quick walk in between meetings, stand to wrap gifts rather than sit, choose movement over evening tv time when you can, and throw in some squats while you clean the house. Another great option is to invest in some resistance bands and weights to keep in your basement or garage. We have lots of short, effective workouts you can do with minimal accessories here on the Red Leaf site. Moral of the story: just because you can’t make it to the gym doesn’t mean the only alternative is to sit on the couch and call it a day. Staying healthy during the holidays is all about broadening how you approach fitness and nutrition to promote balance and sustainability- and it starts with movement!
2. Hydrate- Yes, with Water
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is all of the lovely beverages we have to choose from- rich lattes, hot ciders, wine and champagne, hot chocolate, spiced teas…the list goes on! I’m frequently drawn to choose something other than water, and after sipping on a delicious beverage, I often forget to reach for my water bottle. But when it comes to staying healthy during the holidays, it’s as important as ever to prioritize drinking water. Our pro tips for holiday hydration include: drink one large glass of water right when you wake up, carry a water bottle with you while running errands and visiting friends, drink water on the way to and from events where you’ll be having other beverages, and lastly, drink water between alcoholic drinks!
3. Don’t Skip Sleep
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sleep is closely linked with a healthy immune system, and while staying out late at holiday parties is always fun, it can depress the immune system and make us more prone to illness. Most of our recovery, from illness, injury, and exercise occurs when we sleep. Particularly during the holiday season, we come into contact with lots of people and germs, and if our immune systems are weak, we are less likely to be protected from getting sick. One of the best things you can do for your immune system is to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. If eight is out of reach, try to maximize your sleep time as much as possible. Read our tips for creating a sleep routine here.
4. Eat Micronutrients Often
Micronutrients, aka fruits and veggies, are warriors against illness, and if you browse holiday recipes, you’ll see that they are severely lacking in many meals during this time of year. If you know you’ll be indulging in baked goods or hearty dishes during the week, have a veggie-packed salad or fruit smoothie to prioritize getting sufficient vitamins and minerals through your diet. If you aren’t a big veggie fan, or simply don’t have easy access to fresh produce while traveling or at parties, try supplementing your diet with Red Leaf Immunity. With B Vitamins, Potassium, Glutamine and other amino acids, and electrolytes for hydration, it supports a healthy immune system in addition to a balanced diet.
5. Get Outside
One nutrient linked to a healthy immune system is Vitamin D, and the best way to get it is to get outside. During the winter months, we often spend more time indoors due to inclement weather, but don’t let the cold keep you inside! Even on a cloudy day, we are still able to absorb Vitamin D through indirect sunlight. Make getting outside a daily activity and pair it with exercise for double the immunity benefits. Here are some of our favorite ways to get active outside during the colder months!
6. Minimize Stress
The holidays are certainly a joyful time, but they can also be stressful. Difficult family dynamics, travel, more snacking, missing workouts, financial stress…all of these things can frequently accompany the holiday season. While some holiday stress is unavoidable, there are ways to minimize negative stress during this time of year. The first way to manage stress is to implement a self care routine. Whether that’s fifteen minutes a day that you take just for you, or a few hours once a week to do something that brings you joy, carve out time each week that’s totally stress-free. Stress is something that can quickly diminish your health, especially during the holiday season, so do your immune system a favor and try to minimize negative stress as much as possible.
The holiday season is fun, if a little hectic at times. It’s important to prioritize your health as much as possible so that you are able to enjoy the season to the fullest. Subscribe to redleafnutrition.com to gain access to our special Healthy During the Holidays savings, promotions, and content! You don’t want to miss what we have in store for our subscribers this year!