by Kelly Beaudoin
Even for those of us who love the holiday season, this time of year can be very stressful. In addition to all our regular commitments, we somehow manage to squeeze in enough time for holiday shopping, extra cooking and baking, get-togethers and parties, and maybe even a school concert or two.
The stores start stocking holiday décor in October, and suddenly the pressure is on – to have the “perfect” holiday, but do we really need perfection and all the stuff that goes with it?
Three things can make the holidays especially difficult for us all: time and money (which we don’t have enough of) and guilt (which we have too much of). Too often we try to do too much, try to buy too much, try to keep up with what we think others are doing, or what others expect of us. So how can we free ourselves of these pressures and still have a truly wonderful holiday experience?
Seven tips for a guilt-free holiday season:
Lasting results are achieved through balance
A vast amount of information has been written about nutrition and healthy eating habits. However, the opinions of these authors often seem contradictory, and what’s good for our health one day seems to be bad for our health the next…
All you have to do is look up “eating”, “trans fat” or “antioxidant” on the internet, and you’ll find tens of millions of pages on the subject. Wading through all of that is no easy task! It’s simpler to just get back to the basics and focus on eating a well-balanced diet.
Eating well has nothing to do with the latest culinary trend or the newsuper foods. Like any other area of your life, it’s all about balance. On the other hand, a healthy diet should never mean sacrificing enjoyment,because for most people, eating is one of life’s most basic pleasures. Read more
Next time you’re headed to the office vending machine, skip the chips and instead grab yourself a bag of almonds. Your heart will sing.
Besides offering an abundance of fiber, magnesium, polyphenols, and good-for-you monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), almonds may wrestle two known heart disease risks to the ground: insulin resistance and bad-for-you LDL cholesterol. Read more
Need some inspiration to start working out? Here’s some. If you’re physically active throughout early adulthood, you can look forward to a slimmer waist and a trimmer body in midlife than your couch-potato cousins can.
For women, the numbers are dramatic. Their waistlines are typically 1.5 inches smaller and their bodies 13.4 pounds lighter. Guys wind up 5.7 pounds lighter, with waists 1.2 inches smaller. (That translates to about 3 years less disability and 3 years more great sex.) All it takes, according to a new study, is moderate to vigorous exercise for 150 minutes a week — 30 minutes a day, with 2 days off.
Not a Jock in Your Youth?
No worries if sports were never really your thing. Start now. After only 2 months of strength training (three 40-minute sessions a week, including warm-ups), women 65 to 75 years old can recover a decade of muscle loss and men can recover 2 decades.
Here’s how to get started and stick to it: