There is always a dreadful feeling of gaining or losing weight during holidays—some worry about sabotaging their entire health while having fun. The article explains the tips for making your holiday fun and healthier by first providing details about the immune system and mental problems and then outlining the tips to stay healthy during holidays.
A holiday is best spent with families and friends, creating great memories such as hiking, tasting new dishes, and watching. But they are not always ideal for a healthy lifestyle; that time, you sabotage the body with fatty and sugary food and get lax on exercise, increasing body weight and high blood pressure. It is challenging to stay healthy during the holiday because of indulgent dishes, parties, cocktails, and gift–giving. Support your immune system and mental health. When you suppress the immune system, you are prone to diseases and are likely unable to maintain overall health. Mental health depends on your self-esteem and what trauma you are experiencing.
The Immune System and Mental Problems During Holidays
Morimoto et al. (2019) stated that the immune system is the body's defense against internal and external infections such as germs. It consists of cells and organs that work as a unit to tackle the imbalance. Examples of these cells include white blood cells (leukocytes) and lymphocytes which the body remembers the infections and degrade them. During holidays, the immune system can be undermined by sugary food, stress, dehydration, alcohol consumption, lack of body workouts, and inadequate sleep.
Few people enjoy their holidays, some it the period whereby all the life trauma and problems reload. During this Covid-19 pandemic, holidays as been tough for many, losing their loved ones, hospital bills, and many more, resulting in anxiety, self-denial, and depression build-up. These facts highly affect mental health, resulting in disorders like insomnia, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), panic attacks, and chronic depression.
Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays
Eat Mindfully and Healthy
To enjoy your favorite holiday flavor, be attentive to the food's taste, texture, and aroma. This will boost the body's appetite and craving for more hence more nutrients in your body. However, ensure you are eating something balanced and healthy. Haines et al. (2019) highlighted the following ways to eat healthier;
Avoid sugary and fatty foods- too much sugar increases your body glucose converted to fat, thus high body weight. Sometimes, sugar blocks the blood vessel, increasing the risk of heart problems. In addition, fatty food, apart from participating in an increase in mass, affects the digestive tract, exposing it to diseases like IBD.
Drink a lot of water- and stay hydrated- water account for around 65% of your body weight. Water helps reduce the accumulation of body fat, which increases body mass by aiding in their breakdown into glucose. It is essential in several bodily functions, such as maintaining cell fluids, promoting digestion and absorption of food nutrients, and aiding in maintaining body temperature. Limit drinking high-calorie liquids like sodas and martinis since they dehydrate the body and increase the cravings for sugary things.
Add more vegetables and fruits to the diet, including cabbage, kale, spinach, potatoes, carrots, and apples; the list is endless. They are essential in providing the body with vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and omegas. The organic nutrients are good for boosting the immune system in fighting diseases, and healing body wounds.
Slow down while eating- medicinal studies show that eating slowly gives your stomach the required time to induce hormones that tells your brain you are full to avoid constipation. Overeating is an unhealthy habit that interferes with the digestive tract process.
Avoid alcohol consumption- besides interfering with liver health, alcohol causes body dehydration and lack of appetite. If you are an addict, drink alcohol with food since it may help lower blood sugar.
During holidays, it might be challenging to have time for sweat while having a lot of social lifestyles. Thirty minutes per day of regular exercise boosts both body and mental health. Abdurahmanova & Mushtariy (2021) noted that exercise helps you stay motivated and focused on what is next in your life and provides the following benefits;
Exercises promote good quality sleep- you get asleep faster and deep.
They help regulate and control your weight- they help reduce excess weight gain and weight loss. Workouts burn body calories; the more intense it is, the more calories you burn.
It helps prevent or control health problems like anxiety, depression, stroke, and diabetes
They regulate mood by stimulating various mind chemicals that leave you feeling relaxed, less anxious, and happier.
Exercises boost your muscle strength and growth by providing them with enough oxygen, energy, and nutrients.
Prioritize Sleep and Rest
Late nights are a big challenge during the holidays since you are up all night parting, live chatting, watching movies, and listening to your favorite music. According to Khan et al. (2020), lack of sleep can attract unpleasant effects like cardiac diseases, stress, bad day, insomnia, moody, intensive loss of weight, etc.; make sure you achieve the following benefits of sleep during holidays;
Sleep improves concentration and productivity by enhancing memory.
It combats depression and anxiety
It ensures a healthy immune system
It aids in reducing inflammation and pain by regulating the central nervous system to deactivate inflammatory and pain signaling as the body antibodies heal the body.
It helps maintain body weight by interfering with the production of leptin and ghrelin hormones. Leptin maker, you feel full from eating while ghrelin makes you hungry.
Make Time for Self-Care
Self-meditation is very crucial to emotional and mental health. Think about life's achievements and failures and learn to accept who you are. Self-denial can lead to suicide or other mental illness like chronic depression. Try other time off methods like reading a book, watching a movie, or taking a walk, at least doing one thing a day.
Holidays are full of surprises and interactions between families and friends. You can get lost in the overwhelming parties, late-night stories, watching, or even eating your favorite dishes. Don't forget that your health is on the line as you enjoy. Don't sabotage your mental and body health with a few weeks of luxury. Eat healthier with a balanced diet and little or no sugary ads, stay hydrated always, avoid drinking alcohol regularly, exercise that stagnant body, take a good sleep, and most importantly, always create time to reflect on your life. Otherwise, remember to enjoy yourself and have a happy holiday.
Abdurahmanova, M. (2021). THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISES IN TEACHING DIFFERENT SKILLS. Студенческий Вестник, (11-4), 28-30.
Haines, J., Haycraft, E., Lytle, L., Nicklaus, S., Kok, F. J., Merdji, M., ... & Hughes, S. O. (2019). Nurturing Children's Healthy Eating: A Position Statement. Appetite, 137, 124-133.
Khan, S., Malik, B. H., Gupta, D., & Rutkofsky, I. (2020). The Role Of Circadian Misalignment Due To Insomnia, Lack Of Sleep, And Shift Work In Increasing The Risk Of Cardiac Diseases: A Systematic Review. Cureus, 12(1).
Morimoto, K., & Nakajima, K. (2019). Role Of The Immune System In The Development Of The Central Nervous System. Frontiers In Neuroscience, 13, 916.
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