Holiday health survival guide made super easy!

  • Published
  • By Joshua Hockett
  • 312th Training Squadron

Holiday health survival guide made super easy!


I wanted to take a quick five minutes of your day to share with you some very helpful tips you can use right now through the holidays and New Years. I have found these very helpful to many of my athletes, clients, friends, family, and myself at this time of year. Take it or leave it, it’s here for you to use. At least give it a look; you may find its easier than you thought and with a little effort, a little really does go a long way to keeping you healthy and fit this time of year.


  1. Do not diet! Let yourself enjoy the holiday goods that come out this time of year. The simple rule is to taste and savor! Anything is fair game to try out and truly indulge in. Just do not make it a daily thing, an overkill thing or a let yourself go thing. Deprivation now will only lead to a build of cravings and likely then a hard fall of the wagon. I see it all the time! Do not skip regular meals either to save up for bigger meals later. Eating lighter during the day to allow for a nice big family meal is fine absolutely but skipping meals completely just leads to huge blood sugar swings and massive hunger urges, hard to step back from thirds when you’re hungry as a bear staring down Xmas dinner.


  1. Stay active. Many of you will travel or go to places where a gym or normal exercise place/equipment is not available. No worries! Anything is better than nothing at all! Go for a walk, a jog, jump rope, walk the dogs a few times extra, use bands or bodyweight home exercise plans to keep moving and break a sweat. Just keeping a daily step count goal (10k+) often allows people to burn as many calories or even more at times over a whole day, then a 1 hour intense exercise session would. This alone when done daily over weeks can lead to weight loss or at least prevent weight gain.


  1. Hydrate more often. In the colder months we tend to forget about hydration without the heat around us. You still need to maintain hydration as you still loose water in other ways beyond sweat. Those extra sweets, salty holiday meals, alcohol.. dehydrate you a bit more and require a good H20 flush to keep things balanced out. Plus, dehydration often gets mistaken as hunger and leads to excess eating by itself. Drink your aqua!


  1. Watch the booze! Have your booze sure! I like a drink….or 2 of good red wine as much (probably more) as anyone else. But keep this in check though. Alcohol is easy to go overboard on as is any high calorie drink vs food. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, almost double carbs and protein (4) and close to fat (9). But beyond just the calorie load from alcohol, it’s the side effects that gets you. Intoxication being one of course, dehydration another, eating more food than normal (appetite stimulant) and it also inhibits your body’s short term capacity to burn both fat and carbs…making weight gain all too easy over multiple weekends of heavy drinking.


  1. Chill Out! Yep, chill out folks. This can be stressful time of year for us all, COVID withstanding, but in general the travel, holiday activities, kids, constant events, gift buying, family affairs, work deadlines etc…all can add up quick to wind us tighter than the little drummer boy’s drum. Try using some mindfulness meditation apps like CALM or HEADSPACE for 10 minutes a day to empty out the mind and body. Call someone, talk to someone, have some me time. Go for a walk (see #2). You often simply need to snap the cycle of stress build up to get anchored again. Enjoy the holidays, don’t just survive them! Oh and please! Get your sleep! This alone will charge your mental and physical batteries better than any drug, supplement or app ever could.


  1. Set your health and wellness/fitness goals right now! Yes, right now today. Set your SMART Goals today if they mean something deep to you. If it’s not worth starting now and pushing off to New Years day… I got news for you, it isn’t going to be worth it then either. Having some steam behind you right now going into the NY will likely make you far more committed to the investment you already made in yourself be it weight loss, smoking cessation, running a 5k or just feeling better. Start now and have a game plan!


Yours in health now and in 2022. Happy Holidays to all.