Gregory D. Hamilton
Get Healthy for the Holidays Starting Now
Every fall in Anchorage, Alaska, folks know precisely when the long winter has begun. They wake up one morning to see the local mountaintops freshly capped in white. They call it termination dust, and they shift gears for the coming season.
Well, for the rest of us, our version of termination dust comes the first time we see holiday decorations in stores.
It seems to come earlier every year, and it’s so startling to see Santa’s elves and reindeer on display almost a month before Halloween.
But here we are, like it or not: The holiday season is upon us.
So, let’s talk about what it means for healthy habits around exercise, eating right, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.
And no, it’s not too early to think about New Year's Resolutions, either.
Join me. For Holiday Healthy Habits, 2022.
If you’re not already exercising regularly, this is a great time to start. The seasons are changing and, as the days get shorter and cooler, it can be easier to snap new routines into each day or week.
Maintaining a commitment to work out will help you manage the social demands of the coming months – and help you resist/manage those temptations to overindulge that you know are coming.
Sit down with a calendar to plan the next three months. Include days and times you’ll exercise. Add travel, parties, and other social commitments – will there be challenges or temptations? I have plenty of strategies – from eating a light dinner before you go to a party with heavy appetizers, to being the designated driver on nights when you might otherwise drink too much. Simple planning can help you manage the whole season.
When receiving invitations and planning commitments, remember that “No, thank you” is a complete sentence. It’s entirely OK to decline an invitation; you don’t owe anyone an explanation. It’s so easy during this time of year to get overwhelmed with obligations, fall out of good habits, and create resentments. Remember to just say no sometimes.
Start your 2023 resolution now. You probably know what it will be, so why not spend the next few months prepping for it? Imagine how ahead-of-the-game you’ll feel on January 1 when you wake up having already gone to the gym for a few weeks. When you wake up without a hangover or feeling stuffed and lethargic. When you wake up ready to tackle the day and the year!
Look, you need to think of this time the way our friends in Alaska do. Like it or not, seasons change, and we must anticipate them to make them work for us.
No. 1 on your list: Move your body every day. I am here to help show you how – even when you can’t come and work out with me.
Remember, it could be the key to your whole holiday season – and beyond.