‘Tis the season! Four strategies for a healthier holiday

The holidays are a busy time of year, often filled with indulgences. While it is important to enjoy this time of year, there are a few ways to keep your health a top priority while still enjoying the festive season.

Make time for exercise

The holidays can be a busy time of year, which may make it more challenging to squeeze in regularly planned exercise. High-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, may be a great alternative if you feel pressed for time. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise interspersed with more extended periods of slower activity as recovery time. HIIT is an effective way of burning calories and may help decrease risk factors for chronic disease. Need an extra push? Smartphone apps that contain game-like features might help give you the extra boost you need. Research has shown that gamification may help people increase their physical activity levels, especially walking and step count.   

Be mindful of portion size

Looking for ways to avoid overeating? Size does matter! People who are offered food and beverages in larger quantities tend to consume more than if served in smaller amounts. Ordering smaller portions and serving food on small plates can help prevent overindulging. Whether eating out at a restaurant or attending a holiday event at someone’s home, consider asking for a smaller plate to keep your portions reasonable.

Limit alcohol intake

Consider limiting your alcohol intake to one drink for women and no more than two for men. While alcohol is one of life’s pleasures for many people, too much of a good thing can have negative consequences. Need a little motivation to help you? The association between alcohol and serious diseases, including cancer, may be motivation to “cut yourself off” and enjoy a healthier life in the long run. 

Get a good night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep goes a long way toward helping you feel your best. While the optimal amount of sleep required varies from person to person, sleep is important to achieving optimal health.

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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website

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