Dr. Bret Wilson

Healthy Holidays

Healthy Holidays

Dr Bret WilsonThe holiday season is the best of times and can be the worst of times in terms of keeping fit and maintaining a healthy life style.  The best includes all the things we want to do: celebration, decoration, gathering with friends and family, and exchanging gifts.  The worst things can be the obligations of this busy time of year:  shopping,  fighting traffic and crowds, finishing up things at work, getting the house and meals ready for visiting friends and family, stress over paying bills for all those gifts, over eating, drinking too much and missing sleep.  Burning the yule log at both ends can result in more Oh, Oh, Oh and less Ho, Ho, Ho.   Here are some ideas of how to take care of yourself and your family to have a healthy happy holiday season.

Eat Healthy

Food is an important part of holiday celebrations.  You can enjoy some of your favorites and with a few modifications make better choices to be merry and not over eat.  Try to eat at regular intervals, don’t avoid eating all day to “save room” for the big holiday dinner that night.  Regular meals help maintain normal blood sugar levels and help avoid over eating.   Portion control and food choices are important. Try to emphasize lean protein, healthy fats ( i.e. nuts, olive oil ) vegetables and fruit.  Drink plenty of water and limit beverages with sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

The American Heart Association has booklet available online that outlines great ideas for healthy eating during the holidays.


Reduce stress

The holidays are a time we look forward to all year long.  Decorating the tree, celebrating with family, opening the gifts, and the many traditions are the joys of the season.   Concurrently there is often anticipation of stress and aggravation associated with holiday crowds, busy schedules, travel, juggling multiple schedules and obligations.  Stress can affect your mood and your health in a negative way.

Reduce stress through setting priorities, manage time and keep a healthy perspective.  Family and faith are often our priority during the holidays.  Manage time by saying yes to things that you have prioritized and no to things that are not part of your focus.  Take time for yourself and your loved ones.  Determine the way you want to celebrate and don’t be influenced by the fear of missing out. Practice gratitude for the blessings in your life.   Find your joy of the season and indulge yourself.

These are 2 articles that provide ideas of managing holiday stress.



Keep up with exercise during the holidays.

Don’t stop your fitness and exercise during the holidays.  There are always many benefits to exercise, and it is important to continue despite the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Maintain your schedule of exercise, even if it is modified to accommodate holiday activity and travel.  Incorporate walks, floor exercise and recreational activity with family and friends to stay active and fit.

Here is a link for ideas to stay active and fit. 


Prevent illness during holidays

No one wants a cold or the flu for the holidays.  Prevention is the key to keeping well over the holidays.  We have discussed proper nutrition, exercise and stress management’s role in staying happy and healthy.  Sleep is important for the body’s recovery and maintaining a healthy immune system. The national sleep foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for most adults, and more sleep for children infants to teenagers.  Take that long winters nap to refresh and restore, and Santa doesn’t show up until the children are nestled all snug in their beds.

Refer to this chart from the National Sleep Foundation: 

Chiropractic care can help avoid back and neck pain from interrupting your holiday. A visit to your chiropractor restores alignment, motion, and function to your spine, joints, muscles and nerves.  A healthy nervous system is a great boost to your immune system.


Health may be the greatest gift we give ourselves and provide our family.  Keep up your healthy habits to maintain health.  Christmas and the holiday season provide an opportunity for celebration, giving and reflection.  Take care of yourself, and participate in the joys of the season. Merry Christmas and have a happy healthy New Year.


Yours in Health,


Dr. Bret Wilson

Dr Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website www.bellwestchiro.com.  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.  http://www.acatoday.org/Find-a-Doctor

Here are few more presents under the Christmas tree of healthy holidays for you to open and enjoy.

25 tips for healthy holidays

Santa or Reindeer?

Healthy Holiday Exercises