Holiday health hacks
By Wendy M. Henrichs
Board certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutritionist
The holiday season is upon us once again and even though a joyous time for celebration and family, the holidays can be stressful. The added stress is never good no matter what time of year, but the added treats and alcohol make it easier for your body to pack on the pounds.
These holiday health hacks will help you through the holidays and into the New Year:
BREATHE. When holiday stress is getting you down, take a time out to breathe. Taking a minute or two to take some deep breaths will calm your nervous system, lower your blood pressure and decrease your stress hormone Cortisol. Sit up tall, plant your feet, close your eyes and breathe.
EAT BREAKFAST. Many of us will skip breakfast especially during the holidays. The school of thought is that you will consume fewer calories or that you can then indulge a bit more at the party of gathering. What really happens is that you become famished and eat more than you would have. A good breakfast containing protein, good fats and some long acting carbs is a great way to jump start your metabolism. Remember, eating fires up your metabolism. You will burn more calories throughout the day.
DRINK WATER. Drinking water is an easy way to stoke your metabolism, give you more energy and fill you up. Also, the holiday goodies and drier air can leave you parched. Your goal should be half of your body weight in ounces every day. If you are going to a holiday party or dinner, drink a couple 8 oz glasses of water before you go and a glass of water (or more) every hour, especially if you are consuming alcohol.
EXERCISE. Exercise is important any time of year, but especially during the holidays. Exercise will increase your metabolism, lower your stress hormone Cortisol, and release endorphins-the happy chemicals. If you don’t have time to go to the gym you can try You Tube for some quick exercise or do minutes of exercise. The way to do minutes of exercise is to pick 3-5 exercises such as body weight squats, split squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, planks, etc. and perform each exercise for one minute then go on to the next exercise. Once you have completed all the exercises, you start over until you have done 10 minutes or more of activity.
PLAN AHEAD. If you know you will be attending a holiday party you can scale back your eating for a day or two and even a week before the event. Remember to not skimp on a good breakfast that includes protein, good fats and perhaps some fruit or long acting carbs such as steel cut oats. Lunch and dinner should be mostly veggies and some lean protein. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate and you will automatically eat less. This is true at parties and holiday dinners as well.
Don’t let stress get you down this holiday season. Use these health hacks to hold your weight and lower your stress so you can fully enjoy the wonders and beauty of the holidays. Peace and love to you and your families.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.