Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Five - ways to stay healthy in winter

It is time for the Friday Five link up with Cynthia, Mar and Courtney! I love this link up, it's so well organized and lots of fun bloggers participate.  The theme this week is staying healthy over the holiday season. I have to admit that this is something I've been struggling with ever since coming back from my October vacation since it feels like there is a food fest at work every year around this time and it goes on for months.  We had free pumpkin pie last week and free apple pie this week.  But I've got some strategies to try and help keep my on the right track!

1. Only eat the treats if they're really worth it - there are a lot of extra treats around at this time of year but to be honest, they're not all that delicious.  The apple pie at work earlier this week was pretty mediocre. In addition, a bite or two is often enough to feel satisfied.  I definitely don't need a full size desert most of the time, especially given the giant portions you find around these days. I definitely try to be really cognizant of what I'm eating at this time of year and if it's something I really want or if it's just because I'm bored or because everyone else is eating it.

2. Eat plenty of good for you stuff and make them treats too - There are so many delicious and healthy things at this time of year!  I love sweet potatoes, winter squashes, roasted veggies, apples, pears, and soups.  These things can help satisfy cravings and fill you up while still being healthy.  I also love teas and sometimes, if I want to eat out of boredom, I just make myself a hot cup of tea.  I have a chocolate mint flavored tea this tastes decadent but of course, isn't.  And if it's green tea, you've got the extra antioxidants too.  There are lots of healthy was to treat yourself out there.

3.  Stay active - This is my big thing at this time of year.  Let's be honest, extra calories are going to be consumed.  But that can be mitigated by staying active.  And since it's a season for getting together with family and friends, it's great to find a way to stay active together.  Turkey trots and holiday 5ks are a good way to do this.  I'm already signed up for a November 5k and 2 December 5ks plus a New Year's Day 5k with friends.

Photo from the 2014 New Year's Day 5k.  We're having fun in spite of the looks on our faces!

4. Avoid germs - Of course, staying healthy isn't all about calories.  The holiday season also coincides with cold and flu season for much of us.  I try to be more cognizant of my hands and what they touch at this time of year. I have a bad habit of rubbing my eyes but I try to keep my hands away from my face.  And I always rub down the gym equipment before using!

5. Find your peace - Mental health is just as important as physical health and can lead to a decline in physical health at times.  This can be a stressful time of year for many of us so it's important to find something that can help you reduce stress.  And it's important to make those things a priority! The times you schedule with yourself are just as important to keep as meetings with other people. And trust me, the calmer you are, the better for everyone! For me, yoga really helps with this.  And last year, I've learned that running outside also really helps.  There is something really peaceful about running in the winter quiet, even when I run with a group.

Those are my 5 Friday tips for staying healthy at this time of year.  I'd love to hear any other tips you might have!  My holiday season already started with Halloween and a wedding last week.  We're off to another wedding this week and it seems like things are just non-stop between now and the beginning of January. 

Don't forget my give away for an arm pocket if you're interested in entering.  I hope everyone has a good weekend!