Take care of yourself
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 00:01
The plastic bag ban, the fiscal cliff, taxes and gun control; it’s been a heavy start to the new year. So, we thought we’d switch gears and focus on something that can help lift our spirits.
If you’re anything like us, Halloween was filled with too much candy and our dietary habits didn’t get any healthier over the holiday break. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s it’s not uncommon to gain weight.
What’s even more common than gaining weight through the holiday season is feeling like you have. According to “A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain,” in which 195 adults were weighed at intervals between September 1999 and June of 2000, “subjects believed they had gained four times as much weight as their actual holiday weight gain.”
Whether you’ve gained weight or just feel like you have, don’t fret. You’re not alone, and it doesn’t take much to get back in the swing of things.
Keeping your body moving is the best way to regain that lost energy. We’re not saying strap on your running shoes and run a marathon — though that would be impressive. Walking to class or the supermarket instead of driving is one way to stretch your legs.
Instead of studying inside, make some flashcards and study while walking the covered bridge path. Heck, you could pack a lunch and hike Bald Hill. Listening to an audiobook while on a jog or on the elliptical at Dixon is also a great way to drown out the world while exercising.
If the weather prevents a nice stroll around town, breaking out the exercise ball or elastic band while watching a TV show is the perfect time to mindlessly work your body.
As far as foods go, we’re not going to tell you to cut out the carbs or to stop eating bacon. We love carbs and bacon. Especially bacon. Instead, we encourage you to reflect on your eating habits. The first step to a healthier lifestyle is being mindful of your current one.
Keep a pad of paper — or if you’re too cool for physical paper, create a note in your phone — and list everything you eat that day, without holding yourself back. By the end of the day, reflect on what, how often and how much you ate. This awareness will help you uncover what exactly goes into your mouth, and how it results in sluggishness.
Be mindful of particular eating habits: Eating too quickly, finishing everything on your plate, eating when you’re not hungry, eating while standing or walking, eating only sweets or skipping meals. Identifying these habits, which generally lead to weight gain, is the first step to overcoming them.
We need food for nourishment. Unfortunately, humans also tend to eat when we’re happy, depressed or stressed. Finding healthier, lighter foods to snack on — like apple chips instead of potato chips — is one way to fill your stomach, without that lethargic feeling.
Whether you’re looking to shed a few holiday pounds, or just kick the sluggish holiday hangover, being mindful of your eating and exercise habits is something you should do for your health — not because the BMI charts tell you so.
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