GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Between all the holiday festivities and extra seasonal chores, it can be difficult to always stay on top of your health. Here are some easy ways to prioritize wellness this time of year.
Make mornings count
Evenings are especially busy around this time of year, so taking control of your mornings can be key. But, on dark winter mornings, the hardest part about working out can sometimes be just getting out of bed.
Stay accountable by making workout plans with friends. Get your yoga-loving coworker to commit to a weekly class with you, or start a holiday steps competition at work to motivate yourself to move more.
Try out tech
New, innovative technologies can inspire you to take charge of your health. Wearable fitness trackers have been around for a while, but home DNA tests, like Orig3n’s Fitness test, can help you optimize workouts by providing insights into your genes. Discover whether you have the genes that need an extra rest day, or whether you’re better at high-intensity workouts or endurance exercises. Then, adjust your routine accordingly.
If you’re looking to eat more healthfully, the Orig3n Nutrition test analyzes your hunger and weight genes so you can learn about how your body processes fats (good to know for Christmas cookie portion control) and if you’re predisposed to any food sensitivities. Ask for one for the holidays or gift a DNA test for your White Elephant swap.
Strike a balance
Exercise accounts for only about 25 percent of weight loss, while healthy eating accounts for 75 percent. Indulge yourself this holiday season, but also make smart choices. Go for the apple pie and eggnog, but pair them with healthier choices earlier in the day.
Enjoy the shrimp cocktail instead of the cheese and crackers, or have a light breakfast of yogurt before the holiday feast. It’s all about balance. Instead of reaching for all the sweets and comfort foods in front of you, think about what you’d really like to eat. Choose wisely and mindfully.
Focus on fun, not food
Don’t overthink it! It’s the holiday season and you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself. If you spend your time at parties counting calories instead of counting down to the New Year, you’ll miss out on the most important part of the season — time spent with loved ones.
What’s more, you may find yourself overindulging later if you’re too restrictive. Instead, focus on the people in your life and the memories you’re making.
The most wonderful time of the year can be the most stressful when you have parties to plan, gifts to buy and financial obligations. A University of Chicago study found that people overeat on snacks — sometimes hundreds of additional calories — when they aren’t getting enough sleep. Take a breather, and when you can, get yourself to bed early.