The holidays often bring plenty of cheer and a healthy dose of seasonal stress - especially this year as we navigate how to bring joy and wonder to the season while also being sensitive to social distancing and regional health guidelines. Even if you're not traveling or hosting a big get-together, the holidays demand placed on your time, body, and spirit.
This year, more than any other, don't let the holidays cause you to slack on your own health and wellness.
The healthy holiday diet
The week between the end of the holidays and the new year can be a difficult time to eat healthily. Abundant leftovers and holiday fatigue make it easy to mindlessly consume. But, did you know recent research indicates that the foods you eat can actually impact your likelihood of getting sick?
Inflammation can be triggered by the foods you eat. Chronic inflammation has been linked to everything from cancer to heart disease and even arthritis.
- The foods you eat can either increase or decrease the inflammatory disease process.
- Fried foods, refined carbohydrates, and sweet drinks cause inflammation and have been linked to increased heart disease risk.
- Fruits and vegetables are high in natural antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
By choosing the right foods, you reduce your risk of illness and reduce the prevalence of inflammation in your body.
Holiday stress and your immune system
Chronic holiday stress can take a toll on your immune system. Cortisol creates an inflammatory response that causes a cascade of aches and pains. Also, your body decreases its lymphocyte production. These white blood cells are essential to helping fight off infections, and with less of them, you could be more susceptible to viruses and colds. Stress is a vicious circle – the more stressed you are, the more prone you’ll be to engage in a not-so-healthy coping mechanism like eating inflammatory foods, smoking, or skipping out on sleep. Look for ways you can proactively combat stress this season. For example:
- When you’re feeling stressed out, reach for a healthy snack instead of a sugary dessert.
- Take a few minutes before bed to reduce your stress by reading or meditating.
- Stay active throughout the day by tracking your steps using your favorite fitness app.
- Use your phone to set reminders throughout the day to take a moment to breathe, check-in with your heart rate, or keep a gratitude log.
The well-adjusted holiday
Nagging low back or neck pain during the holidays can quickly turn into a flare-up that can sideline your holiday plans and pile on the frustration and stress. By making a few smart decisions now, you can position yourself to have a pain-free holiday season. Here are a few key holiday health facts to remember:
- Stress and fatigue can lead to the re-emergence of familiar aches and pains.
- Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can help decrease both pain and muscle tension.
- Staying on track with your care plan will help ensure that you are moving and feeling great this holiday season.
By staying well-adjusted this holiday season, you'll give your body the best opportunity to remain pain-free and yourself the best chance to start the new year off right. Be proactive and give us a call to schedule your next adjustment so you can be ready for family and festivities!
Health and happiness go hand in hand, and your health is our top priority. In fact, we’re offering you a FREE, live, virtual workshop on healthy holiday habits you can start today on Monday, 12/23!
FREE VIRTUAL EVENT: How to stress less this holiday season
WHEN: Monday, December 21 at 12:30 PM PST
Meeting ID: 928 4262 2068