With the holiday season in full swing, the days get busier and it may seem harder to get those to-do lists done. Indulgences are everywhere and many people find it difficult to maintain their health amidst the celebrations. You can help maintain your health during the holidays with these 6 tips.
Drink Plenty of Water
Being properly hydrated is vital for your health. It can affect your brain function, mood, digestive system, and prevent aches and pains in your joints. Dehydration can cause headaches, decrease, energy and create electrolyte imbalances necessary for heart and muscle function. The development of painful kidney stones is also a side effect of chronic dehydration.
During this busy time of year, it can be easy to forget to drink enough water. It is recommended that the average adult drink 8- 8oz cups of water a day. Hotter temperatures and bouts of prolonged exercise will require more fluids. Drinks with alcohol and caffeine can further dehydration through their diuretic effects. Keep in mind to drink water along with these drinks to make sure you stay properly hydrated.
Get Your Sleep
Travel, parties, and overnight guests can disrupt your normal sleep schedule. The average amount of sleep needed daily for adults is a minimum of 7 hours. This decreases the risk for chronic health conditions and mental stress.
Many people find it helpful to set a sleep timer for bedtime to help schedule the appropriate hours of sleep into your day. Try to schedule outings and celebrations at times where it doesn’t cut into your required hours of sleep.
If you do find that you are behind on your sleep, naps can help- as long as done right. For naps to be effective, they should either be less than 30 minutes in length or over 90 min. These durations allow for enough time to complete sleep cycles without interruption.
Manage Your Stress
It’s not abnormal to find the holiday season stressful. Planning gifts for others, decorating, and planning travel are just a few of the ways stress adds up this time of the year. While stress is a normal part of life, chronic stress can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems.
With so much to do during the holiday season, make sure to manage your stress levels as well. Simple daily routines such as practicing deep breathing, meditation and positive affirmations can help manage stress. Many people also find it helpful to schedule time to talk with close friends, practice yoga, or spend some time outdoors in nature.
Keep Your Posture in Mind
Lifting heavy boxes, sitting in cramped spaces during travel and sleeping in guest beds can all change your posture. Likewise, stress and tension can also create muscle imbalances and misalign the spine. If you find yourself in a situation that compromises your posture, try to minimize the problem.
For example, if you need special pillows for spinal alignment when you sleep, don’t forget to bring them with you when you travel. Similarly, back support cushions can help support the spine during long drives and prevent back pain.
Whether you are lifting boxes or standing in the kitchen for an extended period of time, be sure to use your abdominals to stabilize the natural curve in your spine. Lift with your legs and don’t push with your back muscles or extend too far. Not rushing and taking the time to maintain your posture during the busiest time of the year can really make an difference in your spine health.
Staying active is important for your overall health, and is vital to maintain your health during the holidays. It might be difficult to keep doing your regular exercise routine if you are traveling or have out of town guests. There are several ways, however, to stay active even if you can’t get to the gym.
If you are spending time with family, try to take a walk to look at neighborhood lights, or play a game of football outside. Outings such as ice skating, hiking, or even shopping can help you get your steps in. Even if it isn’t your regular exercise routine it can help you stay active throughout the season.
Keep Your Doctors Appointments
Even if you feel like you are too busy to make it to your regularly scheduled appointments during the holiday season, try to make your health a priority. If you are coming back from a trip it can be beneficial to get a full spine and postural evaluation to treat spinal subluxations.
If you don’t feel good, then you might not be able to spend the holidays in your favorite way. Contact Silver Chiropractic and Wellness today to schedule a time to make your health a priority today!