The holiday season is upon us. We’ve all recently celebrated Thanksgiving and have probably realized the feasts up ahead of us throughout the month of December. Many of us have also noticed the temperatures dropping outside and finding it much too cold to go on our daily walks or jogs in our favorite locations. This has made it more difficult to find ways to stay healthy.

Eating sweets or junk food for a month while being a couch potato is not an option! These actions will lead you to gain an excess of weight and potentially increase your risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other health problems. So what are you supposed to do when you get invited to work holiday parties, family get togethers, and Christmas parties with friends? Below we outline some important tips for staying healthy during the holiday season.

Dr. Karen Syrjala, co-director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program, provided some tips on the Fred Hutch Cures Start Here website. First, figure out what causes you the most stress during the holidays. Narrow down the list of the most stressful and irritating parts of the holidays. Syrjala recommends you to plan something fun and peaceful to do after a more stressful part of the holiday season so that you can unwind and remind yourself of the good times that will come in a matter of hours.

cookiesAlso, feel free to cut out any events or traditions that you do not enjoy and find unnecessary. You don’t need to bake that two dozen batch of cookies this year if all it brings is too much work and extra calories.

Other important ways to stay healthy include moving and staying active during the holidays regardless of the cold weather. If you have any stairs in your home or at work, spend a good 15 or 20 minutes walking up and down those stairs! Also, there is always a gym or indoor pool located in most neighborhoods. If you don’t have the funds to join a gym, check out a YouTube video for a Pilates program or a Yoga session and start exercising in your very own living room!

When it comes to the foods you eat, be sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as fiber and protein. Be sure to keep sweets to moderate consumption levels. Also, the holidays tend to go hand-in-hand with alcohol and it’s important to remember that excess alcohol increases your cancer risk. Be sure to drink alcohol in moderation, sticking to no more than one drink per day.

Most importantly, reducing stress is key during the holidays. Take part in meditation, Yoga, or simple stretching and breathing techniques to keep yourself level-headed during the Christmas season. By following these tips, you’ll have great ways to stay healthy and happy during the holidays.

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