How to Make Sure You Stay Healthy So You Can Enjoy the Holidays
For many, the holidays are a festive time, filled with busy days and excitement. And yet, all that fun can get stressful. Add to that the effects of cold weather that can lower immune systems, and you may find yourself needing some extra support from November to January.
As busy as you may get this season, don’t forget to take the time to focus on your wellbeing. After all, you can’t do it all if you run yourself down. Along with the usual tips for staying healthy, you may want to consider taking supplements for immune support.
8 tips for keeping this holiday season a healthy one
1. Prioritize sleep. Getting enough sleep is often overlooked in our society, but it’s a crucial step to maintaining health. Stress affects your sleep. A lack of sleep affects your stress levels. This can lead you into a hard-to-break cycle of regular sleep deprivation. Don’t get caught in the sleepless cycle. Follow good sleep hygiene habits such as keeping to a regular schedule, avoiding screen time before bed, and making sure your bedroom is a dark, quiet and restful environment. Also, being physically active during the day will help you sleep better at night, which leads us to our second tip.
2. Make time for exercise. You don’t have to run marathons to benefit from physical activity. The Mayo Clinic recommends that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. You'll fulfill this goal by taking a 30-minute walk at least five days per week. Walking can help you lose or maintain weight, improve your mood, help you sleep better at night and support your immune system.
3. Limit alcohol consumption. The holidays may be a time you are tempted to drink more alcoholic beverages, but try to keep your indulgence at a moderate level. Going overboard is bad for your health. Too much alcohol can dehydrate you, impair your sleep, contribute to bad food choices and even hurt your immune system. In fact, research has found that alcohol can damage immune cells, and it makes your body work harder to protect itself from foreign pathogens.
4. Stay hydrated. Water makes up 50-70% of your body weight. You need it to survive, and when you’re properly hydrated, you look and feel better. You may have heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water per day. The truth is, everyone has different needs, and it may change based on the weather and your activity level. You may find that you need more or less than eight glasses per day. Essentially, drink enough to not feel thirsty. And remember that you also get water from fruits and vegetables. (Spinach and watermelon contain a lot of water.)
5. Make time for relaxation. Finding ways to reduce your heart rate and quiet your mind goes a long way to helping with stress relief. You can even find apps on your smartphone with short, guided meditations that you can use anytime you have a few extra minutes to center yourself.
6. Keep your mindset positive. Don’t beat yourself up if you indulge in unhealthy choices this season. The key is moderation, and making a few bad choices will not derail your health. The problem with negative feelings is that it makes it harder to make good choices for yourself. Try to focus your thoughts on the positive, such as feelings of gratitude. As it turns out, gratitude is good for your health.
7. Maintain a healthy diet. Eat a diet with a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. The nutrients we get from whole foods helps your immune system feel its best. In addition to eating healthy foods, you may want to consider augmenting your diet with immune support supplements.
8. Take immune system supplements. Even if you follow an optimal diet, it doesn’t hurt to give yourself a boost during the holiday season. Immune support supplements can help fill any gaps and help you stay on your feet.
Look for supplements that contain the following immune system support nutrients:
- Zinc gluconate. Our bodies need the mineral zinc. Zinc gluconate is a form of zinc that is easy for our bodies to absorb.
- Elderberry. Also known as Sambucus nigra, elderberry has long been lauded for its help in supporting immune systems.
- Echinacea. Echinacea, the purple coneflower, has been used by Native Americans for centuries. It’s often used in immune system supplements in a combination with zinc for a boost.
Don’t forget to take time to enjoy yourself
You don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach to the holidays. Maybe you can choose to indulge in traditional, rich foods only on certain days. You can keep up your exercise routine, stay hydrated and take your immune support supplements to ensure you stay feeling your best.
Most of all, remember, the holidays are a special time, and it’s supposed to be fun. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in the expectations of it all that you forget to take a minute to enjoy everything you have to be grateful for.