If there were ever a time in which nothing is enjoyed in moderation, it’s during the holidays. And while we don’t want to be extra Scrooge-y and demand that you forego all the goodies, we do think it’s possible to enjoy the holiday hoopla and still be healthy. We all know how much it stinks to try and wear those skinny jeans on January 1st, only to have the top button fly off. Between our waistline and our dehydrated skin, our bodies are not huge fans of the festive frenzy that takes place from now through the end of the year. Wondering how you can have a holly, jolly Christmas and still feel good inside and out? Read on for healthy habits to practice during the holidays. You’ll thank us when you’re ready to hit the ground running (literally and figuratively) in 2017.
Don’t Forego Your Workouts
With the incessant shopping, seemingly never-ending parties, and work deadlines that tend to hit around this time of year, it’s all too easy to let your fitness go. The thing you need to realize is that you don’t have to hit the gym for an hour or more to reap the benefits of a sweat session. In fact, you can do a 15-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) that will get you as fit or more fit than that hour you spend on the elliptical machine. A 2006 study found that bicyclists could bike twice as long after eight weeks of doing HIIT workouts. Don’t have 15 minutes? Don’t forget that every step matters. Consider getting a FitBit or anything else that monitors your movement, as you’re much more apt to take the stairs than the elevator. Trust us—these small changes really do make a difference, in your body and in your stress levels.
Bring Tidings of Good Cheer … and Good Skin
Yes, yes, we know that after drinking Mistletoe Martinis all the night, the last thing you want to do is go through your entire skincare regimen. But the thing is, going to bed without removing your makeup really can wreak havoc on your skin, especially if you’re prone to acne. Wondering how to get clear skin? Follow this cardinal rule: Be consistent with washing and moisturizing your face. And for those times you literally think, “I can’t even right now,” at least keep a packet of makeup wipes on the counter. A little bit of care for your skin is better than nothing at all.
Booze is the name of the game during the holiday season and, again, we don’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings, but … you knew there would be a but, right? Alcohol causes dehydration, as it literally removes moisture from your skin. Go ahead and indulge but be mindful of your intake. And consider adding in a glass of water for every boozy drink consumed. Stick with the clear liquors, like potato vodka, gin, and tequila for less of a hangover. Your skin will also benefit if you sip on any of these over ice as opposed to a sugary margarita or Mojito.
Ditch the All-or-Nothing Mentality
We’ve all been there—you’re doing great on your diet but you get completely derailed by the company Christmas party. You’re ready to throw in the towel. You feel so defeated that you think to yourself, “I might as well just give up until January 1st at this point.” No, no, no! As associate professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University notes via Health.com, “People often think they have to spend an hour at the gym or eat a diet full of hummus and superfoods, and when they can’t attain that level they just give up and don’t even try.” If you fall off, get right back on the horse (or the treadmill).
Follow these healthy habits during the holidays and when everyone else is crying, “Oh no” on January 1, you’ll be saying, “Oh, yeah.”