December 3, 2013

BETTER LIVING | How to Make the Most of This Holiday Season

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By JESSICA SOLOMON

Whether you’re dreading this holiday season or cheerful as ever, you cannot deny it will be filled with numerous expectations, temptations and stresses. Read ahead to discover the few small tips that will make this season the smoothest yet – without spending an arm and a leg, suffering from dreaded colds and gaining unwanted holiday weight.

1. First thing first: Recovering from the Thanksgiving bulge. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie – we all enjoyed copious amounts of delicious carb-loaded food this break and should be thankful for having had the opportunity to do so. However, now that Thanksgiving break is over, it is important to get back in the habit of consuming healthy foods. You do not need to run miles on miles or spend this entire week at the gym; just simply return to your normal routine and your body will naturally recover. Make sure to keep extra hydrated and get enough sleep –  two easy tips that will make all the difference!

2. Homemade gifts are the best gifts. If you are a broke college student with no real income, shopping for holiday presents for all your friends can take a huge toll on your bank account. This season, remember it’s the thought that counts, not the money spent. Bake holiday cookies, frame a candid photo, write a creative card or even knit something small. No one is expecting anything big, but a little effort will go a long way.

3. Don’t lose your exercise routine in the midst of holiday travel. We all use the holidays as an excuse to take time off, relax and eat too many sweets. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying family time as well as the seasonal goodies that come along with it, it’s important to keep some sense of normality and routine. Take the opportunity to get active with family members at their favorite yoga studio, or walk their favorite loop. Also, many fitness places offer holiday discounts you won’t want to miss out on!

4. Prevent the dreaded winter cold. As the temperature drops and we spend more time indoors in close corners with one another, spreading germs becomes increasingly common. Taking certain measures to avoid sickness is 1000 times easier than dealing with recovery. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids daily and to load up on tea. Although sugary sweets are tempting, healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and will boost your immune system. As soon as you start to feel symptoms, loading your body with vitamin C and healthy nutrients will make it easy to fight back!

5. Pick and choose your holiday treats. Peppermint mochas, hot cocoa, Christmas cookies, pumpkin pie, gingerbread cookies – the list is infinite. You do not have to avoid these delicious treats entirely, but limit yourself. You do not deserve sweets every night (and day) just because it’s cold out or because they are festive treats. The best part about holiday treats is having fun making them. Trust me, your body will thank you for not overindulging this season.

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