The stores are of full of santa hats and wrapping paper and the list of what to buy and dates on the December calendar are filling up fast. Decorating trees, buying presents, baking cookies, turkey dinners, family parties, Santa pictures, snowsuits, snow! It is beginning to feel like the holiday rush is rushing in and all the best intentions to get to the gym or eat healthier and take care of yourself is screeching to a halt.
The ever popular “I’ll start in January” is heard around the water cooler this time of year . . . and not the one at the gym! So how can you take care of yourself when so much is going on during the weeks leading up to the holidays and make sure your holiday season is a healthy one?
Eating on the run or while looking for that ‘must have’ gift on your kids wish list often means processed, packaged food or unhealthy options from the food court. A steady diet of whole grains, calcium, fruit, vegetables and protein will fuel you and provide nutrition to keep your immune system healthy. Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and gives you energy so you are not running on empty.
If you have a busy day ahead, start with plenty of protein and carbohydrates to give you energy such as an egg on a whole grain bagel or steel cut oats & fruit from the slow cooker, then tuck a yogurt and banana in your bag as you head out.
If you are eating on the run over meal time try some of these fast meals on the go that can be prepared in minutes and are still healthy!
I know, I know . . so much to do, so little time. As the holidays get closer and time ticks away we often give up precious minutes of sleep in lieu of wrapping one more gift or baking one more batch of cookies. This can lead to a depleted energy store, a compromised immune system and a few days of nursing a cold on the couch!!
Sleep allows time for muscles to repair and energy to be restored. 7-9 hours of sleep helps your immune system to stay strong to fight off viruses. Make sure you get enough quality sleep by avoiding caffeine, large meals or strenuous exercise a few hours before bedtime and include healthy foods as well as fresh air during the day so you sleep easier at night.
Not the ‘running-through-the-mall’ kind, the increased heart rate, starting to sweat kind!
Exercising everyday will put you in a better mood, boost your immune system, reduce stress, help you sleep better, improve muscle strength, energy and endurance levels and all round make you a healthier and happier person! Fit in 30 minutes everyday whether it is as simple as taking the stairs multiple times at your office building, walking the dog or chasing the kids at the park. A few minutes a day can boost your health in so many ways.
It’s cold & flu season and if you want to avoid catching all the viruses the kids bring home from school, you need your immune defenses up! A multi-vitamin will help, but ensuring you have enough of these immune boosting supplements can mean the difference between running out to a Christmas party or running out of tissues!
A growing body of research is showing that Vitamin D is important in reducing risk of cancers, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and improving immune function which fights off viruses to keep you healthy. Many multivitamins do contain Vitamin D but may not contain enough. Read your labels and maybe consider a Vitamin D supplement to ensure you are getting enough of this important immune boosting vitamin.
Research shows omega 3’s play an important role in cardiovascular, eye and brain health, inflammation, depression, age related macular degeneration and dementia. Recently new studies have shown that supplementing with omega 3 can greatly increase the activation and number of cells responsible for fighting off disease and therefore can help strengthen your immune system.
Omega 3’s are deemed essential fats, are known as alpha linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). ALA is found only in plants and flax, flax seed and chia. DHA and EPA come from fish sources like small cold-water fish (anchovies, sardines, and mackerel) and most seafood. To get enough Omega 3 DHA + EPA, a supplement should be considered if fish is not a staple at your house.
And For Energy – B Vitamins
The family of 8 water soluble B Vitamins convert the food you eat into energy for movement, basic body functions and making red blood cells which transport oxygen throughout the body. They are key when it comes to energy and helping you keep up with a busy holiday schedule! Look for B-Complex and B12 supplements to keep you going.
Eat, sleep, get active and take your vitamins for a healthy holiday season!
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs on many websites about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. To read more articles and see her favorite recipes that she promises even your kids will love, visit her websites www.iron-kids.com & www.adultessentials.com or visit her on Twitter @KidsGummyMum or Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.
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