Recreation Center

Healthy Holiday Survival Guide: 9 Tips to Enjoy a Healthy Holiday Season

With all the festive parties and celebrations, delicious (and abundant) cookies and treats, and bountiful boozy drinks, the holidays can be a merry minefield of health mishaps. But the holidays don't have to detrail your healthy habits and wellness journey. We've put together this handy-dandy Healthy Holiday Survival Guide, packed with 9 simple and easy tips and tricks to help you stay healthy and on track while enjoying the holiday season. And don't forget the age-old addage: moderation is key! Check out the full infographic by clicking on the image at the end of the article. 

healthy holiday survival guide

Eat slowly. Savor the flavor and enjoy conversations! Eating slowly is a simple way to consumer less calories. Also, setting down your fork or spoon between bites is an easy way to eat more slowly, giving you time to reach that full feeling on less food.

Don't stress. It's easy to feel stressed during the holidays. Focus on the positive, and take some time to have fun and relax.

Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and escalator this year! Climbing stairs is a great way to burn extra calories while you're out shopping. Plus, climbing stairs is an excellent functional exercise. And while you're at it, get a few extra steps in by parking farther away from store entrances. Get to steppin' this holiday season!

Beware liquid calories. Alcohol, eggnog, soda and lattes taste great and go down easy, but they carry A LOT of calories - very often more than we realize. For example, a cup (8oz.) of eggnog, on average, contains around 340 calories, 19 grams of fat (11 grams of which are saturated fat), and 21 grams of sugar. Again, moderation is key - opt for smaller sizes and limit how much you consume, or choose a healthier alternative altogether.
types of holiday drinks

Drink some water. Drinking water before your holiday feast will not only keep you hydrated, but help keep you from overeating. It's also a great way to curb snacking - people often confuse thirst for hunger pangs!

Call in a sub. There are many easy recipe substitutions that can health-ify your holiday recipes without sacrificing flavor:
• Use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil when baking.
• Use 1% or 2% milk instead of whole milk (or cream when possible).
• Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter in savory recipes.
• Use low-fat ground turkey instead of ground beef.
• Use low-fat plain yogurt in place of sour cream.
• Cut the amount of salt in half, and use herbs for flavor.

Wash your hands. It's hard to enjoy the holidays when you're sick. Make it a habit to wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, and avoid touching your face to help prevent infecting yourself with germs. Oh, and cover your mouth when you sneeze.

Do something for others. The holidays can be a tough time for people for a variety of reasons. But it's also a great time to give a little back and do something to brighten someon else's day! Plus, it can also be really therapeutic. So, get in the spirit of the season and spread some holiday cheer!

Don't forget to workout. Try your best to step away from the "I'm too busy to workout" mindset during the holidays and prioritize your exercise. There are simple and fun exercises you can do easily at home - no equipment necessary. All you need is your body, a little space to move and some holiday tunes! (By the way, our CSU Rec mobile app has more than 20 free workouts crafted by our talented personal trainers! Get it here: Apple | Android

Healthy Holiday Survival Guide infographic