Health & Wellness

Tips for healthy living during holiday season

With Thanksgiving break fast approaching, the thoughts of food, family and sleep are running through the minds of everyone on Allegheny’s campus. The holiday season is great for these three things, but it is also a major gut-buster. Fortunately, there are many ways to prepare your mind and body for Thanksgiving break to stay healthy.

It is easy for someone to say “just work out” or “eat healthier.” The problem is, we are all creatures of habit. Making the change to eat healthier and work out will change your body’s chemistry and may not be the most enjoyable thing to do, but if you are committed to leading a healthier lifestyle, you have to push through the pain, as you will not only see physical results but you will also feel stronger mentally.

A great way to get yourself to go to the gym is to create short-term goals. In school, students tend to make tough long-term goals. This is good, but the students who do the best will tell you it is all about focusing on doing your best on the assignment in front of you.

Keep track of how far or how fast you bike. Then, the next time you go, try to beat that record. Telling yourself you want to lose 10 pounds is one thing, but the real battle is the everyday struggle of not wanting to go to the gym. Knowing that possibly skipping a planned gym session might hurt your chances of beating your record the next time your workout is a great motivator. Short-term, immediate goals will help you get through each individual workout.

Another way to get yourself to work out is by making plans to work out with a friend. As silly as it may sound, simply sending a text message and setting a concrete time will force you to show up because you cannot blow off your workout buddy. It can also be as simple as telling your friends that you cannot do something later in the day because you have to work out. Essentially, make a verbal plan to work out with someone so you hold yourself accountable later.

You will also need to form new eating habits. A good way to get yourself to eat less is by staying hydrated. It is exceptionally important not to mistake dehydration with hunger.  Drinking a large bottle of water is not only healthy, but it will also take the urge away to have an unhealthy snack. 

When going on a diet, you may feel famished. This is because your stomach is used to being more expanded, and when it retracts it sends your brain a signal that tells you, “I’m hungry, your diet is stupid,” when you know all too well you have already had three meals. With this knowledge, you can tell yourself you are really not as hungry as you think and refrain from snacking.

Having a plan to work out more and go on a diet are noble goals, but in order to make these things happen, one must have little tips to help them get through each day. If you can use all these tips effectively, you will not have to worry about how many calories you are consuming at Thanksgiving dinner, and just enjoy the time with your friends and family.