7 Ways to 'Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday'

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. While there are a million reasons to be merry and bright, there are also a million reasons to dread the plethora of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Well I am here to tell you that you can get through this holiday season, feeling not only healthy, but also fabulous. Seriously. Here's how...

1. HYDRATE

Drinking water has a multitude of health benefits such as helping to clear your skin, boost your energy, flush toxins from your body, helps your food digest properly, aids in weight loss and much more. Get yourself a water bottle that you love, and keep it with you at all times. Give yourself a goal of how many times you will fill and drink that water bottle each day, and stick to it. A trick I found that worked for me, was to buy a 48 ounce water bottle, and try to drink 2 of those a day. And you know what - it worked.

Start your day with at least two 8-ounce glasses of water, and be amazed at the benefits throughout your day. If you are a coffee drinker, have the water first. Don't overthink this, just do it!

2. EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST

I mean it. We all know this as a general rule of health, but it's time to get serious and try it. Consistently. As in every day. Give yourself 2 weeks and be amazed by the results. For starters, don't skip breakfast. You will begin to drag eventually and are more likely to overeat when you finally grab your first meal. On the other hand, if you start your day off with a doughnut or muffin, your sweet tooth is triggered for the rest of the day and it's much more torturous to deny yourself sweets if you are craving them. What I recommend is to start with a lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and some healthy fat to give you energy and keep you satisfied until your next meal. This approach will help you feel full longer, stave off unhealthy snacking and your energy levels will be higher. You'll be pumped to exercise and feel satiated enough to just say "no" to holiday sweets.

3. MOVE IT.

Relieve some of that good ole' holiday stress and get your heart pumping. Even if you only have 15 minutes to exercise, I promise you that your body will still reap in the benefits. A short burst of activity is much better than nothing. It doesn't have to be done at a gym, or even in a class. If you have 20 minutes before you need to pick up the kids, or 30 minutes before you have to grab a shower and get ready for a meeting - then put on your favorites tunes and start jumping into those jacks. Jog around the house, up and down the stairs. Dance your blues away. It doesn't matter how you achieve your heart rate to rise, just move your body!

4. FIND EXERCISE IN EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES

Get creative. Look for new ways to add in some exercise to your every day activities. Park your car at the far end of a lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Pick up the pace when you are walking. Rake those leaves for the exercise benefits. Change the channel manually. Jog in place while you watch your favorite show. (Or at least for the commercials!) Be conscious of your posture. We work our muscles simply by sitting up straight. Activate your core while standing in line to checkout. Invest in some of the latest technological advances in fitness devices and get a fitbit, or download an activity tracker on your phone. Keeping track of how little or how much we walk and move every day is a huge incentive to do better. Set a goal for yourself and don't give up until you have reached your goal. If you're competitive, you can connect to your friends and set challenges for yourselves. It's a win/win.

5. BE MINDFUL

Keep in mind why you don't want to overindulge on treats this season. There will be plenty of sweets around, and don't feel the need to sample everything you are offered. After the holidays are through, will you regret feeling sluggish from unhealthy eating? Empower yourself NOW and take control before it starts. When you're faced with temptation, pay attention to your hunger cues. Ask yourself if you are actually hungry, or if you are just being lured by a temporary delight. When you are tempted to not make time in your day to workout, keep in mind how energized and accomplished you will feel when you are through. Find what works best for you, and stick with it. Focus on how you want to feel rather than how you want to look. Working out leads to increased energy and good vibrations all around. Focus on feeling good rather than looking good and you'll notice results quickly.

6. DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP.

Forgive yourself. If you miss a goal, or fall weak to another piece of apple pie, or skip a workout...don't beat yourself up. Instead, acknowledge that you made a choice to do something different than your intended plan, and then let it go. You can get back on track the next day. Treat yourself with the kindness that you give so easily to others. Balance and moderation are the key building blocks to living a healthy lifestyle, both during the holidays, as well as throughout the rest of the year.

7. CELEBRATE EACH DAY

Enjoy your days. Don't take your effort and hard work for granted. Celebrate your journey. Simple daily changes lead to big health benefits with time. The things we work hard for are the things we appreciate the most. We all can throw out any idea of being perfect and healthy. There is no such thing as perfection, and if there is, I can promise you that it would be overrated at that. Even if we all ate the same nourishing, wholesome diet, and exercised to the same degree of physical fitness - we all would still be very diverse in our aesthetics. There is no standard mold that our bodies were designed for, and we each have our own unique sizes and shapes. Appreciate what makes you YOU, and flaunt it. Be conscious, live for the moment, and savor some of life's simple pleasures each day. You deserve it!

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