Avoiding Temptation This Holiday Season
The holidays can be a nutritional rollercoaster. All of the tasty food can really take a toll on your health, leading to weight gain and cardiovascular issues. While we all want to stay healthy, no one wants to miss out on all the tasty treats that come along with the holiday season. The key to staying away from extra inches around the waste, is to consider your food intake carefully and find creative ways to stay active. Here are our best tips for avoiding the holiday temptations and keeping your body and spirit intact this year!
A Healthy Lifestyle and Your Cardiovascular Health
Your lifestyle is the most important thing to consider if you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular health. Your daily diet is a large factor in your blood pressure, cholesterol, and overall heart health. A diet that is high in sodium and fats can raise your blood pressure and put a tremendous strain on the muscles of your heart, making them exert more energy to pump blood through the body. Poor diets can also lead to weight gain. Weight gain causes atrial enlargement, which can cause blockage and potentially lead to a cardiac event such as a heart attack or stroke.
Exercise is also incredibly important for your cardiovascular health. The genre of exercise often referred to as simply “cardio” is essential for strengthening your heart muscles. It raises your heart rate, making your heart beat faster and thus strengthening it through conditioning. Incorporating at least 30 minuets of cardio exercise each day can help to holistically improve your heart health.
Overeating is one of the main reasons people get out of shape during the holiday season. With the copious amounts of sweets and treats available, coupled with the gluttonous holiday dinners, you may feel like you don’t have a chance of staying healthy. In reality, it is all about moderation. Try using a smaller plate to practice good portion control, as a smaller plate seems fuller with less food. Additionally, try not to eat while distracted. While it may seem like a beautiful time to gorge yourself on Christmas cookies while watching the Hallmark Channel, it can actually cause you to eat more than you usually would by distracting you from the quantity of food you’re intaking. Listen to your body, it will let you know when you’re full, and don’t push too far beyond that state.
Try Healthier Alternatives
Eating a little bit healthier for those big family meals can make a big difference in your holiday health. There are lots of healthy alternatives for your favorite dishes. Try swapping out butter for olive oil or swapping white rolls for whole wheat ones! There are countless ways to make those classic foods just a little bit healthier! Check out this article from Thanksgiving to get some ideas on dishes to bring for Christmas dinner.
Find Ways to Stay Active
Finding ways to stay active is essential for holiday healthiness! Like we mentioned earlier, cardio exercise can strengthen your heart and help combat potential cardiac events, with the added benefits of helping you shred that extra winter weight. Thankfully, there are lots of holiday-friendly activities that you can do to stay fit and healthy. Wintery activities such as ice skating can be great sources of cardio. Additionally, you’d be surprised how many calories you can burn by walking around the mall doing your Christmas shopping!