Healthy in the holidays


Staying healthy in the merriest month
of the year is as easy as one, two, three—and four.
That’s according to Dr. Nicky Montoya, president of leading HMO provider MediCard Philippines.

Merrymakers should be careful not to lose track of fitness goals, or worse, ruin good health in the Christmas season

Merrymakers should be careful not to
lose track of fitness goals, or worse,
ruin good health in the Christmas season

While it may be very tempting to indulge in sumptuous food and drinks from one Christmas party to the next, he insists that merrymakers should be careful not to lose track of fitness goals, or worse, ruin good health.

“We should continue self-improvement during Christmas time,” Dr. Montoya urged. “By practicing healthy habits, you can take care of your health and well-being this season and all year long.”

Here then are four prescriptions from the good doctor on how to stay healthy this Christmas and beyond.

Eat and drink moderately
Holiday treats are yummy but most of them are packed with calories, fat and sugar. To prevent overeating, condition your mind and body to stop eating before you’re satisfied. Eat a light snack before going to a party and when you’re there, eat food in small portions. Try to include vegetables and fruits on your plate to have fiber. If you overeat during one meal, go light on the next.

Keep your drinking habits in moderation, regardless if the beverages are alcoholic or not. Intoxicating drinks can induce overeating and reduce your inhibitions while the non-alcoholic ones are mostly full of calories and sugar. If you feel thirsty or tired, it’s always better to drink water.

Exercise regularly
You may not have the time to hit the gym for your regular workout during the busy season. But this doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising altogether.

While you’re at home, do 10-minute worth of push-ups in the morning or take a 15-minute brisk walk or jog in the evening. If you’re at the beach, go for a swim or engage in water sports activities. If you’re vacationing at a new place, take long walks while exploring the unfamiliar environment. There’s always an opportunity to exercise and burn calories wherever you may go. You just need to set your goals.

Hydrate adequately
Drinking an adequate amount of water can help you stay hydrated and alert throughout the day. So while spending your holiday vacation traveling, partying or simply watching movies at home, bring water with you and try to drink regularly even when you’re not thirsty. Be sure to rehydrate when you’re engaged in physical activities that cause you to sweat a lot. Also, after drinking liquors or carbonated drinks at parties, drink a lot of water to balance your hydration levels.

Sleep sufficiently
Sleep deprivation can lead to stress, weight gain and poor mental functioning. But during the holidays, it may not be easy to get enough sleep daily when you have to spend a lot of time shopping for gifts, hosting dinners and attending events.

To combat sleep deprivation, take a 10- to 20-minute power nap, which is ideal to boost alertness and energy, or a 90-minute nap, which likely involves a full cycle of sleep and doesn’t cause grogginess. Relax your body and calm your mind at night by doing tranquil activities, like listening to mellow music or reading a book.

“As you celebrate good times with your family and friends, don’t forget to take good care of your body and mind. Stay fit and healthy not just during the holidays but every day and you will feel better and happier all year long,” Dr. Montoya ended.

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