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Getting Ready for the Holidays

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When Holiday Shopping Becomes a Marathon
  • Wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for a long day of walking.
  • Make sure you drink enough water to remain properly hydrated.
  • Have a balanced snack to keep your blood sugar level balanced.
  • Stick to your regular exercise program and make sure you take the time to stretch and relax your muscles.
  • If your mall has lockers available, take advantage of that feature to make your shopping day more comfortable.  Otherwise, take trips to your car to drop off packages.  Your arms and shoulders will thank you.
  • Lighten up your purse or leave it at home in favor of a fanny pack. 
  • If you must wear a purse, opt for a small, lightweight version with a long strap and wear it across your body.  Switch it to the other shoulder throughout the day.

The day after Thanksgiving kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year in the United States, and a time filled with parties and other celebrations that for most of us doesn't let up until January.

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of celebration and the joy of spending time with loved ones.  It can also be one of the most stressful times of the year for many of us.  It is important to do whatever we can to minimize the negative effects of these chaotic times. Making wise food choices, staying hydrated, receiving regular chiropractic adjustments, and taking time to exercise, stretch and reflect on the blessings in your life will help you enjoy the holidays and greet the new year with renewed vigor.

Taking the Time to Exercise:

Make it a habit to exercise first thing in the morning.  This will ensure that you receive the greatest benefits from your efforts, and will make it easier to remain consistent over time.  Your fitness routine will become an enjoyable part of your morning routine, and you will get it out of the way before daily life has a chance to distract you from it.  If you wait until later in the day, you will be more likely to find excuses to skip your workout - especially during the busy holiday season. 

Effective exercise doesn't require a lot of time either.  Even a short workout in the morning is beneficial and will help you to feel more positive and enthusiastic throughout your day.  If you are having trouble finding the motivation to get started, tell yourself you can stop after ten minutes if you don't feel like continuing.  Most of the time you will feel so great that you will choose to keep going a little while longer.  Even if you choose to stop after ten minutes some mornings, your body will still receive some benefits even from these abbreviated sessions.  The greatest benefit though comes from being consistent and making exercise a regular habit that you don't even have to think about.

Maintain a Healthy Diet:

Holidays are generally not the best time to begin a new diet, but you can still avoid the typical holiday weight gain by making wise food choices.  Make sure to include a lot of vegetables and salads in your diet, along with sufficient protein and healthy fats like pastured butter, olive oil and coconut oil.  Minimize grains, starches, fried foods and sugary drinks. Take small bites, chew your food well and eat slowly to avoid overeating.

Decide whether there are any special holiday treats you would like to indulge in, and go for quality over quantity.   Avoid the temptation to just mindlessly munch on whatever is in front of you, especially at holiday get-togethers.  Save your calories for a treat you really love and then give it your full attention when you eat it, fully savoring each bite to satisfy your craving.  This will usually help prevent any feelings of deprivation while you're being mindful of your health.

Avoid the Holiday Blues:

It is not uncommon to feel somewhat depressed during the holiday season.  Regular exercise is very effective in preventing and alleviating depression.  But if you still find yourself feeling down, one of the best things you can do is write in a Gratitude Journal each day.  A regular spiral notebook works just fine too.  Simply write down five or ten things you are thankful for before going to bed each night.  This will help you to recognize and focus on all the blessings in your life.

Another tried and true way to lift your spirits is to help others.  Find a cause that inspires you, or visit VolunteerMatch.org to see what help is needed in your community.   Or perhaps you have a neighbor, friend or family member who is lonely or could use some assistance.  "Helping others" regularly tops the list of what makes people happy, and is a good way to combat the holiday blues.

Millar Chiropractic Clinic is again participating in the Christmas Angel program, which has become a wonderful annual tradition.  Each clinic has a number of local children in need that are sponsored, and many of our generous staff and patients experience the joy of playing Santa for a child whose family is unable to afford Christmas gifts.  Ask our staff for more details if you're interested in becoming a Christmas Angel.

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