Select My Center Location
Hours & Info

Looking for Something?

Join Donate Chat

Healthy Holiday Tips

November 30, 2022

Staying Healthy during the Holiday Season

With all the shopping, cooking, family visits, and parties, it’s harder for people to make healthy choices during the holiday season. Luckily, two experts from the YMCA are here with tips to help everyone feel their best – even when life gets busy. Together, they’ve compiled a “Wish List” of healthy habits to build over the holidays.

  • Walking – Walking is one of the easiest ways to build more fitness into every day. Not only does it get your heart and other muscles working in a low-impact way, but being active outdoors is a proven stress reliever. Walk with friends and family, walk to run errands, or try a walking meditation to clear your head when life gets busy.
  • Water -- Staying hydrated helps prevent a false “hungry” sensation, and keeps your metabolism running efficiently. If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding a packet of dried lemon crystals, or an herbal teabag for a touch of flavor.
  • Wait – When eating, take a smaller portion than you might habitually, and wait after you finish to give the sensors in your stomach time to tell your brain that you’re full.
  • Wine -- Alcohol is high in calories, and it hijacks your metabolism, causing your body to store more fat. It also disrupts sleep patterns. The less you drink the better you’ll feel.
  • Work up to the workout – It’s easy to get discouraged with a new health routine, especially if you look at your scale to measure success. Best to start small, with a daily walk, and gradually increase, adding cardio and strength training. This helps establish healthy long-term habits while giving yourself time to FEEL the benefits, even if you can’t SEE results quite yet.
  • Warm-ups – Did your uber-active aunt challenge you to try Pickleball? Got a grandpa who is raring to race with you? Avoid injuries by warming up before any vigorous exercise. Do dynamic stretches (where you keep moving through the stretch) beforehand, and static stretches (where you hold a stretch for a few seconds) afterwards.
  • What about this instead? It’s hard to go “cold turkey” especially around Thanksgiving! Instead, try to replace old habits with healthier choices. At a party, make your first three drinks seltzer, so there’s less time and room in your stomach for alcohol. Swap out frying for roasting meats and veggies. Air-popped popcorn stands in nicely for potato chips. Take a walk with a friend instead of meeting up for a meal. You’re less likely to fall back into an old habit if you’re doing something new that you enjoy.

Related Articles

a woman standing outside a house

Preventing falls at home

By: Nicole Griffin – WRTV More than one in four people ages 65 years and older fall each year, according to the National Institute on Aging. Lillie Ford...

Read News
Ray's Story

Ray’s Story

I was able join the YMCA staff part-time and I enjoy that I am able to make a difference in others’ lives like the YMCA has mine. I want to thank everyone...

Read News

Steve’s Story

Survivor On The Road To Recovery. This is my Live Strong Testimony! Hello, my name is Steve Fites. I have what the experts call “Mantel Cell Lymphoma” It...

Read News
a man on an exercise bike

Don’s Story

Living The “C” In YMCA My name is Donald L. Willis (Don). I have been a member of the Baxter YMCA for several years. Enjoy working out, meeting and talking...

Read News
a woman standing in a gym

Judy’s Story

My friends at the gym are particularly important to me. We miss each other when I am traveling or not able to be here for other reasons. I look forward to...

Read News

I Didn’t Know How Much I Needed This

Strong emotional support can help survivors adjust to the many changes chronic disease can bring.

Read News
YMCA of Greater Indianapolis