4 Ways to Bring Health to the Holiday Season

Kids running outside with mom at holidaysDuring December, it’s fun to get caught up in the festive spirit of holiday parties, shopping, and decorating — and downright easy to skip the gym, indulge in fattening foods, and settle on the couch for some great movies. Instead of waking up in January feeling guilty for several weeks of unhealthy living, try these four tips for bringing some healthy habits into your holidays this year.

1. Avoid Elaborate and Embrace Simple

You can make time for your exercise routine, some meditation, or just plain downtime by looking for areas where you can simplify. Can you reduce the number of dishes you’re cooking for that family gathering or scale back some of your decorations? If your calendar is filling up with social events, remember that it’s OK to say no. Don’t let the bustle of the season crowd out time to take care of yourself.

2. Put a Healthy Twist on Recipes

Whether you’re using your grandmother’s favorite cookie recipe or trying out a new holiday dish you spotted on Pinterest, you can typically reduce saturated fat with some substitutions. 

      • Try reduced-fat sour cream in dip recipes. 
      • Use applesauce or prune puree in place of half of the called for butter, shortening, or oil in baked goods.
      • Replace each whole egg with two egg whites or ¼ cup of egg substitute.
      • In baked goods, use whole wheat flour for one half of the plain flour listed in the recipe. 

You can get more tips for healthy holiday eating in this blog from Cone Health.

3. Volunteer to Help Others

Get out of the house and give your mental health a boost by volunteering to help others this season. Food pantry donations are up this time of year, and many of those organizations can use help sorting and shelving food. Volunteers are also often needed to help serve community meals, assist with activities at senior centers, or purchase toys for children in need. 

4. Get Active with Friends and Family

The meal doesn’t have to be the main focus of every gathering with family or friends. All ages can enjoy getting active with games like charades or Simon Says. For outdoor fun, try taking a walk at a local park or check out special holiday events, like outdoor ice skating and an ice slide at the Piedmont Winterfest at LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro. The whole family can enjoy strolling through the streets of downtown Burlington with the Holiday Magic event on the evening of Dec. 13, or if you’re a running enthusiast, sign up for the Reindeer Romp held on Dec. 14 in Jamestown.

 

Meet Health Goals with Help from a Primary Care Doctor

Did you know a primary care provider can help you meet your health goals for the new year and beyond?  Whether you need guidance on a healthy weight-loss process, help for stress and anxiety, a plan for birth control, or advice about vital health screenings, primary care teams at LeBauer’s nine locations can help. Our family practice providers care for patients of all ages. Request an appointment with our online form, or call the office that is most convenient for your care. 

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