Fall is here, and while I love the smells, the comfort foods and the colors, it is a sign that winter and the Holiday season will soon be upon us. Soon, we’ll begin stressing out about gifts and entertaining, and with that, our diet, exercise and overall health get thrown out the window. Then starts the cycle of New Year’s resolutions to get healthy again.
I propose that we start early this year with a plan to stay on track through the holidays. If we plan for it, we have a shot at being successful when faced with the goodies and parties!
Here are three simple things we can do to keep our health goals on track over the next couple of months:
Make Exercise a Priority! Challenge yourself to consistently do some aerobic activity 4 days a week and weight lifting 2 times a week. Exercise reduces stress, helps maintain a healthy weight and prevents illnesses, even the common cold. You’ll feel empowered going into the New Year knowing you successfully made it through the holidays meeting your exercise goals.
Eat Healthy (most of the time). It’s wonderful to enjoy good food with good company—and fun social gatherings are also a key to health. However, knowing that indulgent food is on the horizon, take extra care to eat clean the rest of the week, eating more fruits, veggies and clean meat. Then at party time, you can splurge a little, knowing you’ve gotten your nutrients in for the week.
Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Bed. I have been doing a lot of research lately on the benefits of fasting, and the one consistent rule is to avoid eating 3-4 hours before bed. Doing this little bit of fasting allows your body to rest and recover through the night. It reduces the amount of oxidative damage done while you sleep and allows your cells to repair and recover. It also resets your circadian rhythm so you will get a better night’s rest and have more energy and less inflammation. When I do this consistently, I sleep better, and I don’t wake up stiff and sore.
These three simple steps allow us to move through the fall season feeling empowered that we are maintaining and/or improving our health. When the year rolls over, we won’t feel discouraged or have to start at square one. Instead, we’ll feel strong and healthy and ready to move forward in our health in 2020!