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Wherever you are this holiday season, here are four tips to help you stay healthy.

1. Put yourself on the top of your priority list.

Being nurses, we never seem to have time for ourselves. Make sure you take a moment during the holidays to relax and recharge. Pay attention to what your body, mind, and spirit need; this will allow you to renew and create reserves of energy and peace. Take care of yourself and give yourself a break if you feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

2. Eat what is right for your body.

Food is always a major theme of holidays; therefore, it is easy to experience holiday weight gain. Just because you are on holidays does not mean you should throw away all of your healthy eating habits. Make sure you always have access to fruits and veggies. Do not force yourself to eat everything, but choose what you most enjoy. Also, try to eat slowly as the brain takes about 20 minutes to let you know you are full. Drink plenty of water and cut back on soda as well as sugary and alcoholic beverages.

3. Stay active.

Staying active during the holidays can help mitigate some extra calories you may be gaining from food intake. Try to plan your workout schedule beforehand because it is easier to stick with it when you have it planned than to try to squeeze it in later. If you will be traveling within the United States, check out the USA Track & Field website for running or walking routes in your destination city.

4. Get enough sleep.

It is important that you maintain your sleep schedule during the holidays. Sleep is foundational to preserving our health and as important to good health as what you eat. Getting less than 7 hours sleep a night increases the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, certain kinds of cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Getting enough sleep can help balance your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health.

Nuananong Seal & Mary Wiske

Nuananong Seal, PhD, RN, is a nurse researcher and a consultant for health promotion and health prevention research.

Mary Wiske, RN, is a retired community health nurse.

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