Staying healthy during the Holiday Season can be a challenge for some when it comes to balancing our work, family commitments and exercise.
Planning ahead is the key to success in most areas of our lives, especially for working out. People are busier than ever during the Holidays, with exercise often being the first healthy scratch, to use hockey terminology.
Long lines in stores and slower commutes don’t help your depleted energy resources, so you find yourself spending to your cap with no room for a fresh approach.
Cuts need to be made but where? You’re still performing well, but not at the level you expect, so it may be time for a coaching change, as in, step aside and retool your approach to getting things done with enough time left for a good workout.
Dr. Lucas MacMillan, a naturopathic doctor based in North Vancouver, B.C. shares in our Q&A, his best ways for keeping healthy and staying fit.
What are your best ideas for staying healthy during the Holiday Season?
In a word: Moderation! Our body can handle a surprising amount of stress and challenge, especially in moderation.
Also, we are all quite different, and have unique responses to these challenges and stresses – some feel anxious, others can’t sleep, while others have digestive troubles.
Knowing and watching for your reaction to stress (rather than waiting to “feel stressed”) is often more of an accurate marker to your stress levels, and having this awareness gives us the opportunity to relax, ask for help, or make changes when we need to.
I believe being aware and making these changes when needed is how we can maximize our health.
How do you balance your career, family and exercise during the Holiday season?
We don’t need to be balanced every single day.
Focus on the 90:10 rule, where we are balanced, nourished, and well rested at least 90% of the time.
This allows us to let our hair down and be more spontaneous during the remaining 10% of the time.
If you expect to be overwhelmed and unbalanced, get your exercise and meet your nutrition goals early, which can help to enjoy the holiday food and events, relatively guilt-free.
What do you think people need help with most during the Holidays?
Taking on the role of hosting can be a big job. If you have a larger role in a gathering, or if you are likely to feel overwhelmed, ask for help early.
Advice from others, bringing potluck-style dishes, or actual hands added to preparing can help everyone feel involved, and help to keep the stress off of one person.
Catering and order-in options are also available, many of which can be quite healthy!
With our technologically driven society, what are some screen time tips?
Our surroundings and technology have evolved much faster than we humans have, which is likely contributing to some interesting problems, the most obvious being sleep disturbance from late light exposure.
I believe technology also adds more distance between us, which is doubly important given the isolating effects of the pandemic.
Focus on people, relationships, and connecting can help to bring us back to getting the social interacting that we need, rather than staring at our phones. Check your email, snooze important items, and go mingle!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Many of us have strong beliefs that differ from friends and family, and this pandemic may have added more emotion to these differences.
Every person will have a different perspective, and I believe it was once easier to simply ‘agree to disagree.’ Setting appropriate boundaries may be incredibly helpful to avoid unnecessary tension.
For example, a message or note such as ‘We ask that all guests avoid the topic of COVID 19, vaccinations, and mandates for the day, so we can focus on the great people around us’ may be a simple answer to keep it light during the holiday gatherings.
Thank you, Dr. MacMillan for your thoughtful insight. Just one more thing, the Holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends.
Taking a break from your fitness routine could be an opportunity to recharge your batteries; Just remember to unplug and get moving before too long!
Our Fitness Friday weekly feature is submitted and written by Christine Blanchette so please follow her on Twitter as well as her Run With It Youtube Channel.
On behalf of Christine and Sportswave our most sincere thought are with those affected by the recent devastation and loss of life in British Columbia.
Stay Safe and think of those affected!!
Lacrosse PPV CLICK BELOW!
About Steve Erickson