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The holidays are usually synonymous with an abundance of eating and a lack of exercise. None of us moms want to get cranky during the holidays, but I have found most women get cranky when their pants don’t fit. Don’t wait until Jan. 1st to make your annual resolution to ‘get in shape.’ Follow some simple tips to stay healthy during the holiday season!
Tip #1: Don’t buy junk food. Start at the grocery store and stock your kitchen with healthy foods (I highly suggest not bringing your kids to the store with you). Have healthy snacks handy. The more convenient they are, the more likely you are to eat them
Tips #2: Schedule Your Exercise Most moms I know keep a calendar (or two) and write down all of the family’s events and activities. Write in your exercise – make it a priority and schedule your workouts just as you would any other appointment
Tip #3: Just Say No (or Yes if you really, really want it) We often eat extra food just because we are offered it-especially at holiday parties and get-togethers. If you are not hungry or don’t particularly love that food – say “no thanks.” However, if you really love and want a Christmas cookie – have it. If you deny yourself, you will probably overeat later because the craving didn’t go away. Sometimes finding a less caloric alternative will work. For example, craving something sweet – try a gingerbread cookie – they have less calories. Or make hot chocolate with skim milk and skip the whip cream.
Tip #4: Skip the Baking Do you make baked goods for giving? Chances are you eat much of what you bake. Who wouldn’t? Instead make or buy non-food gifts or prepare ingredients for baked goods and put them in pretty jars–let your gift recipient bake it up. That way, they can eat it when they want it and you don’t have to be tempted in the kitchen.
Tip #5: Hydrate Did you know that our body’s response to hunger and thirst are the same? Don’t automatically assume you are hungry, try hydrating first. Experts recommend drinking eight, 8-oz glasses of water each day.
Tip #6: Get Outside. This can boost your physical and mental health. With the warmer weather this week, go for a run or a walk in the neighborhood. Play a game of football in the front yard. Start a game of tag and involve everyone.
Tip #7: Reduce Stress: Stress often leads to overeating. You can reduce your stress by taking some quiet time, reading a book, getting together with girlfriends or practicing yoga. I just happen to teach yoga at Everyday Yoga. We meet twice a week (Monday and Thursdays at 8:30am) at the PCT Center at 115 Clarksville Street – Just $5 a class.
Tip #8: Keep it simple. We all try to overdue it. Kids don’t have to have everything on their Christmas list. The house doesn’t need a thousand outside lights like the Griswalds. Sometimes paper plates are better than china. Give yourself a break and you will probably have a healthier and certainly happier holiday.
Stay healthy and happy this holiday season!
From one mom to another,
Jenny Wilson is a mother of three. She teaches a Mommy & Me class at Central Presbyterian Day School, serves on the PCT Board and Children’s Theatre Advisory Committee, the CAC board, the Parent Association Boards of Aikin Elementary and PJH, and is a member of the Paris ISD School Board of Trustees. Mrs. Wilson is a Sunday school teacher at Holy Cross Episcopal Church. She is also a certified yoga instructor and owner of Everyday Yoga.