Thanksgiving is the first of several upcoming holiday gatherings where many of us tend to overindulge. We’re spending a long weekend with family, want to “reward” ourselves for recent hard work and travel, and can get stressed out for many different reasons.
Family time is generally rewarding, but hosting family can be a source of serious stress. Before and after the big meal, we’ll often order out or heat up unhealthy foods.
Here are five tips on how to better manage the weekend, and to cope with the stresses and temptations:
Five Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving Weekend
1. Stay on your exercise routine
Let’s assume that you’ve been working out regularly, whether you are at home or on the road. Keep it up, as you need to help burn off those extra calories. If you have been saying “I need to get my exercise routine restarted”, though, consider spending 30 minutes on a high-intensity interval training workout. Find one on the internet, and hit “play”.
2. Catch up on your sleep
Most of us could use a few more hours of sleep. Give yourself permission to spend the weekend getting that 8 hours of sleep: the 5 or 6 you’ve been getting is not enough. Watch the use of the caffeine and alcohol before bed, too. It can affect your quality of sleep.
3. Eat Smart
It’s easy to get excited and dig into that big family cooked meal with all the favourites. Enjoy it, but be mindful of portion sizes. Avoid seconds—if you want more, you can always take a doggy bag with you to enjoy later. And if you’re trying to manage your weight, consider having just a mouthful of that pie.
4. Raise a Toast (not 3 or 4)
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating, but try to control how much alcohol you consume. Whether it’s spirits, wine or beer, avoid having more than one 1-2 drinks…and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you “don’t drink and drive!”
5. Have gratitude
It’s Thanksgiving. Take some time to enjoy the Fall colours. Go on a hike with your friends and family, unplugged. Those who have a mindful view of their fortune, and are aware of the bounty of their life, live a longer and healthier life.
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