Silver Chips Online

Health Chips: Five easy tips for staying healthy

By Michael Gerbasi, Online Sports Editor
November 1, 2012
HealthChips is a weekly blog focusing on healthy living and wellness. Come back next Thursday for the next edition of HealthChips.

As fall wraps up and winter comes up right around the corner, it is easy to stray away from keeping fit. Personal health has, and always will remain, an issue for people of all ages. It is key that it stays a top priority, even when the temperature drops. Here are five easy ways to keep fit and healthy during the upcoming holiday season.

Stay active
Winter and the holidays are all stressful times, but it is crucial to stay active. It's too easy to get caught up in the rush and excessive stress. Do not let your surroundings and people around you influence your exercise routine. It remains important to exercise or be active for at least 30 minutes a day, whether itís a jog, sport or just a brisk walk. To help with this, you can wear a pedometer and aim to walk about 10,000 steps per day. In addition, lift weights a few times a week for 20 minutes each time.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are important in a daily diet in order to stay healthy. Courtesy of CNN
Fresh fruit and vegetables are important in a daily diet in order to stay healthy.
Snack instead of starving
It might be tempting to not eat all day in preparation to chow down on your Halloween candy or a massive Thanksgiving dinner, but this is ultimately a set up for an all-you-can-eat binge. Instead of starving and then getting sick, it's okay to snack throughout the day if it is healthy. Almonds, or any other kind of nuts are great choices. Vegetables or fruit can also make satisfying, healthy snacks. In addition, make sure to drink plenty of water.

Substitute healthier alternatives
If you are ever going to stuff your face, do it with a healthier alternative to junk food. Use organic ingredients when making food. Avoid the butter and fat along with sugar. Or, simply eat healthy foods more often than sweet foods, which one should only consume on occasion. Buying healthier foods would be another way to go about this same goal. Go to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or even the local farmer's market to buy organic foods and avoid fatty, sugary, name brands.

Watch portion size
Let's be honest, nobody is going to completely avoid eating sweets and always snack healthily. When you do indulge, savor your favorites and be careful about the portion size. It is far healthier to eat slowly and take pleasure in a sweet treat rather than quickly wolfing down as many different sweets you can. While enjoying your treat, make sure to pay attention to portions. Be sure to not overeat and get yourself sick.

Create a stress-free zone
Winter and the upcoming holidays are extremely stressful, but being stressed takes a significant toll on your mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health, even though it is often overlooked. Stress can cause you to stray away from your normal routine of staying active and eating healthy and takes an unnecessary toll on your mind. Try to relax and avoid any potential stressors. Take baths, meditate, get a massage, sleep or do anything else that helps you to get rid of stress. Experiment different methods and find the one that works for you. Try to sit back and actually enjoy the season.

The above five tips can be boiled down to keeping a daily exercise routine, improving eating habits and avoiding as much stress as possible. Follow these easy rules and you'll survive the winter with ease. But, you can start by laying off the Halloween candy.

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