During the holidays, there are parties and good foods surrounding us, helping us to forget to focus on our health. Despite the fact that many of us often forget, it really is possible to have plenty of fun during the holiday season and still stay healthy. Below are five ways that seniors can keep their focus on their health this holiday season.
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
It’s always ok to cheat on healthy foods just a little bit, but during the holidays it’s tempting to eat far more unhealthy foods than we probably should. We are surrounded by so many good, home-cooked items that it’s easy to ignore our health. First of all, always stick to any special dietary restrictions that you may have, even if it’s the holidays. Try to make it a goal to enjoy small amounts of the unhealthy foods but overall make healthy choices out of the options that are available. Don’t drink too much alcohol or eat too many desserts. Put fruits and vegetables on your plate and drink plenty of water.
2. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things a senior can do for their health. Adults between the ages of 85 and 99 are admitted to the hospital for dehydration six times more often than other adults. Before the holidays start, make staying hydrated easier for you by storing liquids nearby. Stock your fridge with water, 100 percent juices, and milk. Drink a few sips of something every few minutes, and make doubly sure that you drink after more strenuous tasks like running errands, working in the yard, or doing any other physical work.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
During the holidays, it’s easy to get over-tired. If you’re traveling, remember to rest once you’ve reached your destination before going back out to celebrate the season. Take the time to pause every once in a while, even if you are surrounded by friends and family. Sit down, watch some television, or take a power nap. Try not to pack your schedule too full, and leave space between gatherings so that you can recharge. You will have more fun and energy with friends and family if you are well-rested and not overly tired.
4. Continue with Your Exercise Routine
There are many reasons why it can be harder to want to get up or go out and exercise during the months of the holidays. It’s cold and darker earlier in the evening, and you may have been overindulging in good holiday foods and late-night parties. If you’re having trouble staying motivated in your exercise routine, try straying from your normal routine. Instead of walking outside, go walk around somewhere indoors, like a shopping mall or an indoor track at a gym. You will be warmer inside, and there is more light so you can see. Consider doing some stretches or light weighted workouts at home in front of your fireplace instead of out in a cold, drafty gym while the sun isn’t out.
5. Pass on Responsibilities
One of the best ways to stay healthy is to avoid stress. Instead of trying to make the holidays perfect all by yourself, let the younger generation take over this year. Pass on some of the responsibilities to your children and grandchildren. If you usually have the holiday gathering at your house, let a different family member take over this year. Making small changes to your holiday traditions won’t change what’s truly special about the holiday season. Remember what’s important about this special time of the year, and you will have a very happy, healthy holiday season.