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Holiday Health Tips

December is typically a jam-packed month with holiday celebrations, shopping, end of year duties (personal and/or professional) among other things. Like most people, you are trying to maintain your sanity, weight and peace of mind. Physical activity, stress management and nutrition are 3 major players in maintaining a healthy body and mind. Consider a the following tips to help you keep up the momentum through the end of the year.

  • Experiment with in-season produce and new, healthy holiday recipes. Search the internet for healthy recipes including ingredients such as winter squash, root vegetables, cabbage, pears, and apples, for example. These pair well with warm, sweet spices such as nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
  • To stay active, consider signing up for a local/community walk or run. See what holiday-themed offerings are taking place in your community. Recruit the family for an after-dinner stroll to check out the Christmas decorations.
  • Managing stress takes planning and consistency but not as much time as you might think. Incorporate laughter into your life, every day. A joke, funny video or story can put a smile on your face and lighten your heart. Have 5 minutes? Try progressive muscle relaxation at night when you hit the sack.

Walking Health Benefits

Walking is the most popular type of exercise for many reasons. It is economical, easy on joints, simple, heart-healthy, effective for weight management, fun, and great for beginners, to name a few benefits. According to research, simply taking more steps every day (regardless of pace or intensity) lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular disease significantly. A dramatic reduction in heart disease risk was seen in those who raised their daily step count from less than 4,000 per day to over 8,000 per day.

Other benefits include promoting bone density, as walking is a weight-bearing exercise. Those who walk regularly have brighter moods, less depression and are more productive. Need more  reasons to walk? Regular walking lowers blood pressure and improves sleep quality.