GILLEM ENCLAVE, Ga. –
November is here and the holidays can be a tough time for maintaining a healthy mindset. Here are a few tips from LT Kaitlyn Randal, 65C, and civilian dietitian, for staying active when it's colder outside for eating healthy despite the presence of so many temptations! The Army has ample resources for fitness and nutrition; check out https://www.army.mil/acft, https://p3.amedd.army.mil/ and https://health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness.
How to Stay Active In the Winter
1. Invest in a set of resistance bands + a yoga mat + a set of dumbbells (if your budget allows for it!). There are so many workouts you can do indoors with these affordable exercise pieces!
2. Bundle up and take on a new winter sport like cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, or merely hiking or running. Even though it is colder outside, it doesn't mean you can't get out there and move! In fact, exercising in colder temperatures can really help with blood circulation regulation and can improve your mood in the darker months. Just remember, even though its cold, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
3. If possible, make winter exercise a routine with a friend, loved one, or spouse in order to stay on track and maintain accountability.
4. If the dark and cold really make you feel sluggish, unmotivated, tired, and depressed, think about purchasing a sunlight therapy lamp. These lights are designed to "mimic" sunlight which can help energize you and make you feel happier in the winter. Use a sunlight therapy lamp for 15 minutes a day to maximize the benefits.
Healthy Eating During the Holidays
1. Make sure Thanksgiving "day" doesn't turn into Thanksgiving "week" (or even Thanksgiving month!); many people indulge in the classic Thanksgiving feast more than once in the month of November...between various family get-togethers, work parties, and friendsgivings, it's not the single day that causes weight-gain, it's all of these events combined! If you have more than one holiday occasion to go to, bring a healthy dish to pass around like a green vegetable side, a salad, or a fruit-based dessert. It's okay to enjoy your favorite holiday dishes, but try to keep your portions in check and balance them out with healthy, clean foods.
2. Avoid having unhealthy holiday snacks around the house, i.e., candy dishes, cookie platters, etc. This will only tantalize you and guarantee the sneaking of a chocolate or a cookie here and there.
3. Try some healthy versions of holiday favorites! You'd be amazed at how delicious revamped recipes can be - in fact, most are as good if not better than the original, full-fat/full-sugar renditions. Try subbing yogurt in place of butter, cream, and/or oil in recipes!
4. After a large holiday event or a day of "splurging", make sure you follow it up with a day (or several days depending on how you are feeling!) of eating clean, healthy food and drinking plenty of water! You'll feel much better afterwards and it will make you stay on track in the long-run. Enjoy soothing broth-based soups, bean/legume dishes, green tea, and spicy foods. These can help clean out the system and make you feel light again!