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Creating a healthy and happy holiday season

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Lanre Olusola

The holiday season is finally here, bringing joy, happiness and an exciting New Year. Being surrounded by friends and family is one of the most important and memorable parts of the holiday season. While we all want to feel cheerful during this period, sometimes the indulgent foods, busy schedules, family, and expenses can cause a lot of extra pressure and stress. The holidays can be a busy time and can negatively affect your health if you are not careful.

Research shows that the average person gains a little over a pound or more between mid-November and mid-January. A study among 26 healthy adults showed an average weight increase of nearly two pounds over a 15 day holiday period. Another study indicated that 38 participants gained 500 percent more weight per week during holiday compared with non-holiday weeks. Regardless of actual statistics, researchers conclude that holiday weight becomes a major contributor to annual weight gain.

We gain weight around this time because many holiday events involve food, and not healthy foods. More often, it is food like desserts, candies, sugary drinks, and alcohol. As you crazily run around shopping, socializing, and managing other holiday demands, you are also less likely to exercise. Even for very motivated people such as those who hit the gym frequently and monitor their food intake and those who are intent on losing weight, the holidays can spell bad news for your waistline.

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During these fun (and perhaps stressful) times, it is important to remember some simple habits that can keep you and your family healthy. These habits include:

1. MANAGE YOUR STRESS WITH “ME TIME”: For many, the holidays are a time of fun, merriment and celebration, including the opportunity to spend time with people that you might not see very often. Experts recommend that people set aside time for themselves every day to make sure the body is getting the rest and attention it needs. Spending a few moments alone can give you a chance to reset and prepare for the next holiday event.

2. STAY UP TO DATE ON VACCINATIONS: The flu and colds can spread almost uncontrollably throughout a home, workplace or school. Be sure that your entire family is up to date on this year’s flu shot to help stop the flu from making the rounds.

3. PRACTICE MODERATION AND HEALTHY SUBSTITUTIONS: The holidays do not have to mean a season of unhealthy indulgence. Practice moderation by eating healthier foods and fruits. Try to limit your intake of salty, sugary and fat-laden foods.

4. STAY ACTIVE & HYDRATED WHILE HAVING FUN: Exercise is often one of the first things that go by the wayside during the busy holiday season. Make a commitment to be active at least 30 to 60 minutes every day and make it interesting. Dance to your favorite music or take a walk around the neighborhood. Do not forget to increase your water intake in order to keep your body refreshed and to reduce hunger cravings.

5. SLEEP: Getting enough sleep is crucial to staying healthy during the holidays. Make sure to go to bed and wake up at regular times. Do not buy into the common misconception that you can catch up on the sleep you miss on the weekends or at another time. Instead, make getting enough sleep a priority every night. Lack of sleep can disrupts mood and immune resilience, leaving us more vulnerable to sickness in the peak of cold and flu season. Plus, without enough sleep we are too exhausted to get the exercise our bodies and minds need.

6. MAKE A PLAN FOR THE NEW YEAR: When all the parties are over, and reality gradually sets in. Instead of feeling down, challenge yourself with realistic, sustainable goals for a healthy, happy New Year!
These are just a few things that will get you started in making you mentally and physically strong this season. You can get access to a Life Coach this period, by calling 08077077000 or send an email to info@olcang.com. You can also download our audio books, which have various interesting topics ranging from: depression, finding your purpose in Life, Goal setting, Affirmations, Self Esteem and so much more. To purchase, go to www.audio.olcang.com. Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!


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Lanre Olusola
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