17 Healthy Holiday Habits

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KP Nov 2017

17 Healthy Holiday Habits by Steph Beth Nickel

Social events. Christmas baking. Holiday busyness.

These realities and so many more can have us neglecting our fitness goals at this time of the year. While it’s a good idea to be kind to ourselves (stress can have negative side effects as well), there are some simple but healthy habits we can implement.

Please note that I am not a nutritionist or a fitness professional. The following recommendations are simply suggestions I’m seeking to implement myself (at least some of the time). These suggestions are for information purposes only. Everyone is different. What works for one person may be harmful to another. Before changing your level of fitness and/or your diet, seek professional advice.

Here are 17 healthy holiday habits:

When You’re Out and About

As I mentioned earlier, stress can have negative side effects. Before heading out, have a definite game plan and factor in time to decompress.

While it may not be a choice at this time of year, it’s a good idea to park a good piece from the store. That way you’ll get some steps in back and forth from the car.

If you’re hungry, grab something light and nutritious, such as a side salad with dressing on the side (hold the croutons) or a small grilled chicken wrap without the sauce (or with very little).

Better still, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry.

If you’re in the mood for a hot beverage, choose caffeine-free, herbal tea rather than a high calorie specialty drink—at least the majority of the time. To save time and money, you can prepare it at home and take it with you.

When You’re Attending Holiday Functions

Avoid snacking before the meal.

Keep the starch intake to a minimum (potatoes, bread, rolls, stuffing, pasta).

Heap on the veggies. But not the caramelized carrots; take only a small spoonful of those, no matter how tempting they are.

Don’t go back for seconds.

Choose a small piece of your favourite dessert. Don’t go back for seconds of that either.

Limit high calorie beverages.

Drink lots of water. Remember caffeine-free, herbal tea counts. A warm beverage is nice this time of year.

When You’re Busy at Home

Play your favourite music while you’re preparing your home for the holidays.

Burn your favourite holiday scented candle.

Create a family tradition, such as a family games night or movie night after the tree is up and decorated. We have yet to watch Muppets Christmas Carol this year, but it’s on our To Do list.

Don’t set out the decorations until you’ve tidied up and tucked away the things you don’t need sitting out. I’m not able to truly enjoy the decorations if they’ve simply added to the clutter.

That said …

Remember what’s truly important. Enjoying time with family and friends is more important than having five dozen types of homemade desserts and an immaculate house. (And when it comes to homemade goodies … I’ve ordered from a couple of local people who are seeking to raise funds for a good cause by taking Christmas baking orders. Homemade without the hassle … I love it!)

How about you? What are your healthy holiday habits?

Be kind to yourself during the holidays. (tweet this)



Before changing your activity level, exercise routine, and/or eating habits, consult your health care professional. What is safe and beneficial for one person can be harmful for another. Note that you implement the following information at your own risk.


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Stephanie Nickel


Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.

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