It may be tempting to wait until the new year to create new goals, but wouldn’t it be fun to go into this holiday season with a few healthy rhythms already in place?
Here are some examples of healthy habits you can add to your life right now that will carry-over to the holiday season, adding even more joy.
• No snacking after dinner. Intermittent fasting is pretty fascinating — as it can literally change your body at a cellular level. Sometimes we hear the term fasting and think deprivation or uncomfortable feelings of hunger. But all you have to do to achieve a 12-hour fast is not eat between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., which is pretty doable. Of course with all the holiday parties, you many not want to do this everyday, but practicing intermittent fasting is a great way to gain control of food cravings and help your body detox.
Along with skin renewal, prevention of cancer growth, improved muscle performance and fighting infection disease, intermittent fasting can prevent neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. How? Intermittent fasting can help your body achieve autophagy.
“Autophagy is a naturally occurring process in our bodies where cells remove toxins, recycle parts and repair their own damage and is receiving new focus in the last few years for it’s promising longevity benefits,” said Naomi Whittle, author of “Glow15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life.”
• Eat an apple a day. I know apple a day sounds cliche, but what a great (and easy!) commitment to your health. Apples contain fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer and are an excellent source of vitamins. Craving an extra sweet treat? Slice up an apple and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Apples also are an easy snack to grab on the go.
• Preparation leads to success. The holiday season usually means more errands, longer lines and increased waiting times. Avoid the drive-thru by getting in the habit of having healthy snacks with you. If you like granola bars, check nutrition labels, as not all granola bars are as healthy as they look. For example, a Clif bar found in the health section of a grocery store contains 21 grams of sugar … that’s more sugar than a Snickers bar, which contains 20 grams of sugar. Yikes! KIND bars are an excellent choice with less than 5 grams of added sugars.
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• Move every day. Even if it is just 10 squats during my son’s bath time or while waiting for coffee to brew, adding movement to my day helps me manage stress. Do you have Alexa at home? Say, “Alexa, play the 7-minute workout,” and you’ll be guided through a whole body workout — no weights required. Go to 7-min.com to download the workout. Getting into the habit of moving every day will help combat the added stress holidays can bring.
• Prayers with family before bed. Expressing gratitude out loud with family members is a wonderful practice that will benefit everyone involved. It will increase an attitude of gratitude and soon you will find more things to be grateful for every day. What a great gift to give yourself this holiday season.
• Kylie Alger is a certified wellness coach and co-owner of the Well-Woman: Body, Mind & Spirit. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org