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Your Healthy Routine is the Key to Surviving December

It’s that time of year again, when the hustle and bustle of the holiday season plays havoc with your routine. There’s shopping, partying, socializing, cooking and cleaning, and the stresses that come of too many family packed into too small a space. For some people, it’s also a bittersweet time that magnifies a sense of loss for those friends and family who may have passed away.

With so much going on, it’s easy to let your healthy routine go by the wayside. “I’ll pick it up again in January,” you say. “It will be part of my New Year’s Resolution.” But your health doesn’t take a break. After months of hard work and discipline, why let your progress stall or even take a step backward when you don’t have to? If health and wellness was a priority for you in November, and it will be in January, then it should continue to be in December.

It’s a matter of inertia – once you stop, and the longer you are off your routine, the harder it is to get going again. From regular exercise, to eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and continuing your chiropractic adjustments, sticking with your routine will leave you feeling better and coping better, regardless of what the holiday season can throw at you.

Exercise

Let’s start with exercise. What’s not good about it? It’s a stress reliever and a way to burn off those surplus calories that are lurking at every turn throughout the holidays. Solitary and moderate exercise such as walking also gives you some soothing alone time – a little can go a long way to improve your mood and composure.

Eat wisely

Then there is what you choose as fuel for your body. Fatty and sugary foods are everywhere. The important thing is to keep from overindulging. One way is to eat healthy snacks high in fiber and protein before you find yourself at a party before a sugar-laden buffet table. Don’t walk into a situation where there will be lots of fattening treats with an empty stomach.

On the other hand, remember that not everything is bad; nuts like almonds are good for you, with protein and the healthy fats your body needs.

Get sleep

Don’t forget about sleep. Here is where sticking with a routine is vital. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time you normally would when you have to go to work or get the kids off to school. If you’re tired, it makes you that much more vulnerable to overindulging on the things you shouldn’t.

A study published in August 2013 by Matthew P. Walker, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, found that a sleepy brain responds more strongly to high-carb, high-fat foods and also has less ability to rein in the impulse to eat them.

Get adjusted

Your routine of chiropractic adjustments does more than just restore the proper alignment of your spine. It helps your nervous system operate at its optimal level. A properly functioning nervous system is better able to cope with stress and deal with those triggering factors that may pop up over the holidays. Remember, chiropractic care is a gradual process to help your body heal itself.

Taking a break through a busy month only serves to delay your progress. And even a single adjustment can give your mood a boost. How? Because it releases endorphins, just like exercise does. These are your body’s “feel good” chemicals, which can reduce perception of pain and improve your overall outlook on life.

Remind yourself why you are doing this

The motivation to live healthy is different for each of us. For me, it’s as simple as looking at my kids. I want to live a long, healthy life so I can be here for them and their kids. I know I need to take good care of myself now to make sure that happens, rather than waiting till I’m in my 40s or 50s and faced with something like heart disease or hypertension. Focusing on your “why” can help you stay on track during even the most busy and demanding of seasons.

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