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13 Top Tips for Preventing a Holiday Health Problem

It often seems as if there is no way to stick to healthy habits over the holidays. Every place you go, from the hair salon to grocery store, offers complimentary tasty treats for visitors to sample. For older adults with health conditions such as diabetes and coronary artery disease, party foods high in sodium and fat can lead to trouble. To help you navigate the holiday season without putting your health at risk, we’ve pulled together a list of quick tips from a variety of experts.

Have a Healthy Holiday with these Tips

  1. Plan ahead. If you know a party is coming up that may cause you to fall off the health wagon, be extra careful about following your diet and exercising in the days leading up to it.
  2. No excuses. If you overindulged at one holiday event, don’t use it as an excuse to give yourself a pass for the rest of the season’s festivities.
  3. Watch the sweets. If you can’t resist the dessert table, only allow yourself to have a small piece or to split a serving with someone else.
  4. Stay hydrated. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water will help you feel full and be less tempted.
  5. Eat more greens! Eat a leafy green salad or plate of fresh veggies before you go to a holiday party. Filling up on healthy foods before you go will help you avoid eating too many unhealthy foods once you arrive.
  6. Get moving. If your schedule seems too packed to work in 30 minutes of continuous exercise every day, break it up into ten or 15 minute increments several times a day. Research shows it is just as good for you!
  7. Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is bad for hydration and usually full of empty calories.
  8. Watch out for liquid calories. Eggnog, specialty holiday drinks, dips, and sauces might seem harmless when, in fact, many are filled with high fat and high sodium ingredients.
  9. Choose lean poultry or fish instead of beef and shellfish on holiday buffets. They both are usually safer options for people watching their weight and their blood pressure.
  10. Stick to your medication schedule. It may be tougher to do during the hustle and bustle of the season, but following it should be a priority.
  11. Check your blood sugar. It is important to remember to take your blood pressure as often as your physician has recommended.
  12. Be conscious. Don’t neglect checking your blood sugar if you live with diabetes. It is probably even more important this time of year to make sure you keep an eye on it.
  13. Get plenty of sleep. We know sleep deprivation contributes to a variety of problems ranging from high blood pressure to car accidents.

We hope these quick tips will help you stay healthy, happy, and fit this holiday season!

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