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8 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays and Keep Up Traditions

The holidays mean delicious food, extra indulgence, and gatherings with friends and family. It can also mean that you have many resolutions to get back on track by the time the new year rolls around.

This year, what if you take a different approach? Staying healthy during the holidays doesn’t mean giving up on the aspects of the season that you love. It simply means making some modifications to ensure you stay healthy and safe all winter long. There are ways to stay healthy during the holidays that won’t derail your plans or interfere with your festivities.

Should you experience an injury or setback, rest assured that the Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin is here to help you get back to full health. If you experience an orthopedic injury, don’t suffer through the season. Reach out today! Until then, here are eight healthy holiday tips to keep you feeling your best.

1. Work Movement into Festivities

Christmas offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy festive exercise and movement. Whether it’s adding some holiday music to your workout routine or dancing at a holiday party, the best way to stay healthy during the holidays is to keep active.

That long ride traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house can leave you feeling sluggish and sedentary. Get out of the car occasionally and stretch those legs! If you’re flying to visit family, power walk to your gate at the airport. Shopping online is great but consider working some active in-person shopping to your agenda too. There are lots of ways to fit in healthy holiday movement.

2. Deck the Halls with Help

Another way to get moving during the holidays is to decorate the house. Everyone loves holiday decorations, and they make the season truly feel special. When you decide to trim the tree and hang the tinsel, be sure to enlist the help of a friend or family member—especially if you need to climb a ladder or lean over a railing.

Many winter-time injuries involve falls and accidents that are easily prevented with a few extra precautions. Don’t take risks to hang holiday lights; use the buddy system instead. Not only is it more fun to decorate with your loved ones, but it’s safer too!

3. Toast the Season (and Sip Water)

Let’s face it—there’s nothing quite as delicious as a holiday beverage. Even healthy holiday meals include a little indulgence. We all love to toast the season, especially here in Wisconsin. So whether you love an excellent brandy old-fashioned, eggnog, or just a delicious frosty glass of beer, the holiday season is time to treat yourself.

But if you choose to imbibe, be sure to pace yourself by sipping a glass of water or two in between each beverage. Know your limits, and always appoint someone to be the designated driver. Remember that drinking can lower your inhibitions and your sense of self-control. If you want to stay healthy during the holidays, set smart limits. You’ll thank yourself the next morning.

4. Enjoy the Really Special Treats

Another holiday indulgence is, of course, all that delicious food! Who doesn’t love a holiday ham, rum balls, Christmas cookies, and more? Of course, healthy holiday meals are great, but there are so many treats during this season that you may be tempted to throw caution to the wind and go all out.

If you want to stay healthy during the holidays and have more energy, it’s important to temper those indulgences a little. Recognize the treats that are truly special to you. What captures the essence of Christmas? Is it peppermint ice cream? Pecan pie? The fancy cheeseboard? Make room for those special treats and savor them. Skip anything that isn’t worth the sugar crash or food coma.

5. Take Advantage of the Beauty of Winter

Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons, especially in Wisconsin, where we might get treated to a snowy white Christmas. One tip for staying healthy during the holidays is to fit in some outdoor exercise. Try your talents at a winter sport. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating are all great ideas!

Don’t miss out on the beautiful light displays around town or take a trip to the outskirts and enjoy nature. Go for a walk and take in the beauty of winter. Should we have a mild season, bundle up and go for a long walk or a hike. There are plenty of different birds and wildlife out in the winter months, so have your camera ready to snap some pictures. Breathe deeply and feel all that holiday stress melt away!

6. Choose Practical Party Shoes

Everyone loves a great holiday gathering. Time with friends and family is what makes the season bright and merry. It’s especially fun to dress up and go out on the town. Whether you’re headed to see a performance of The Nutcracker, or enjoying a holiday concert, get fancy!

But when you choose your holiday outfits, be sure to select practical, supportive footwear. Many winter injuries are due to slips and falls that could easily be prevented with the right choices in shoes or boots. Make sure you have traction on the soles and look for footwear that supports your ankle too.

7. Remember There’s Always Next Year

Staying healthy during the holidays means scheduling downtime. It’s easy to pack your schedule with every invitation and Christmas activity out there. But a jam-packed agenda can leave you feeling burnt out, tired, and decidedly less festive.

Instead, choose a few activities that are particularly meaningful to you. Maybe you love watching holiday movies with your family, decorating cookies, and going to your work party. Don’t miss those events! But if the thought of your neighborhood cookie exchange, friend’s choir concert, or another occasion is making you overwhelmed, skip it! You don’t need to fit in every activity this year.

8. Start Your Resolutions NOW

Don’t forget to keep your eye on the big picture. Staying healthy during the holidays means keeping your good habits going all season long. Don’t wait for the new year to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Do it now!

Yes, it can be more challenging to stick to a gym routine or a whole foods diet during the holiday season, but remember it’s about progress, not perfection. Dabble in those healthy holiday habits and good choices now, and you’ll feel ready to go when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. You’ll already build up the necessary momentum to embrace a healthier lifestyle all year long.

Enjoy a healthy holiday season from all of us at the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin. But, should you need us during the holidays, we’ll be here to help you get back to your top form in no time.

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