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4 Holiday Health Pitfalls to Avoid

CJADM / News / 0 Comments

The holiday season can be one of the most difficult time to remain disciplined in our health routines.

The food, the irregular schedule, the traveling, the alcohol, the families, the stress… What is meant to be a season of celebration and time off also often results in making concessions in our diets or putting off our fitness goals until the New Year.

According to a study from the University of Scranton, more than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only about 8% of us actually achieve our goals.1 Topping that list of shortcomings are, you guessed it, losing weight, being fit, and staying healthy. We at EarthWater would like to help you stay committed throughout the holiday season by offering you some simple tips on health pitfalls to avoid this holiday season to keep you on track to a Healthy New Year!

1.) Overeating2:

Food is always in abundance this time of year. Whether gathering for a family meal, celebrating with friends, or at the office Christmas party, there’s always too much of it. This makes it a struggle for anyone who’s committed to eating healthy or portion control. Here are some tips to help you overcome this temptation.

  • Stay hydrated. Interestingly, one of the common symptoms of dehydration is the feeling of hunger or emptiness. Drinking 8 oz of water before a meal ensures your body is fully hydrated and can satisfy the feeling of hunger, helping you to not over indulge.
  • Curb your appetite before a big meal by snacking on fruits & nuts.
  • Portion out your snack servings instead of eating from the package or bag. Chips and popcorn, for instance, you’re less likely to finish a whole bag if you pour out a single serving into a bowl.
  • Don’t go back for seconds. This is especially difficult at a pot luck when there is an absurd variety of dishes to try. Treat it like any other meal and plan out your selections on the first trip.
  • Don’t Netflix and Binge – We know it’s Christmas, and you finally get a few days off. One might be tempted to binge watch every Christmas movie in the queue. And, as amazing Love, Actually and a pint of Haagen Dazs sounds, make sure you switch off the tube and move around between flicks.

2.) Inactivity / Laziness3:

Of course this time of year is for relaxing – taking a break from school and work. It’s especially easy to get out of your exercise routine amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active.

  • DO WALK! – Even if you can’t make it to the gym this holiday, you still have plenty of opportunity to get a work out in while you travel or run errands. Park farther away and walk to your destination so that you can make up for exercise lost or extra caloric intake. If you’re at the mall or a shopping center, take a few extra laps to “window shop” for that perfect gift.
  • Take Short Activity Breaks – If you can’t get out of the house, make a couple of trips up and down the stairs and stretch your legs. If you’re travelling, walk around the terminals a bit before your flight. Take a stroll around the neighborhood and see who put up Christmas lights.
  • Take the initiative to plan outings that are focused on activity instead of food – Go ice skating, visit a museum, exhibit, or botanical garden, explore the city!

3.) Over Drinking

The holidays are always bursting with high spirits and cheery moods, giving you the perfect excuse to fill up your glass. But, as you may already know, there are plenty of reasons not to go overboard. Besides the empty calories, according to the CDC, injury or death as a result of drunk driving doubles to triples between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, and the number of DUI and DWI offences also skyrocket during this time of year. Here are some tips to make sure your celebration stays merry and safe.

Plan Ahead – If you know drinking will be involved in your outing:

  • Designate your transportation: Use a Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or Designated Driver
  • Eat heathy foods and snacks – Consuming foods when you drink alcohol slows down the absorption rate, which can reduce your peak alcohol level by up to 1/3.3
  • Keep Yourself Hydrated – Alcohol affects hormones that regulate your kidneys which results in increased urination and excessive water loss, and therefore dehydration. Pace your drinking by having a glass of water between each drink. This will not only help keep you hydrated but will slow your alcohol consumption, keep you sober longer and help decrease your hangover the next morning.
  • Have an EarthWater on hand for the morning after! Many EarthWater customers have stated that EarthWater FulHum is a great aid to curing a hangover. So grab one and put it on your nightstand before lights out!

4.) Get Enough Rest

Our eating and workout routines aren’t the only things that get thrown out of whack during this busy season. Stress, travel, guests and a full schedule of social events also affect our sleep patterns, and sleep is crucial to a healthy body and mind.

  • Be as consistent as you can with your sleep regimen. If you normally hit the hay at 9:30 and wake up at 6:00, try to keep that schedule going and make your plans around it.
  • Make sure you turn off sleep disrupting electronics such as TVs, computers, tablets, etc.
  • Turn off the lights! – We all have internally built-in clocks that influence our sleep/wake cycles. Studies have demonstrated that light exposure to the eyes can suppress levels of melatonin, which are hormones responsible for sleep regulation.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or large meals before bedtime.
  • Being physically active during the day can help you get a better night sleep and decrease stress.

BEST WISHES FROM EARTHWATER AND HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

References

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutrition/pdf/portion_size_pitfalls.pdf

[3] https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/RethinkHoliday/NIAAA_NYE_Fact_Sheet.htm

[4] https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/prevention.htm

[5] https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

[6] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/alarming-stats-show-holiday-drinking-an-issue-for-many-283503651.html

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