Long to-do lists and stress can affect health (and weight gain) during the holiday season -- but following some simple recommendations can help people maintain their well-being, according to Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of the American Chiropractic Association's Council on Occupational Health.
His tips for staying healthy:
Stay hydrated! Drink at least one half your body weight of water in ounces each day. (i.e. a 200 pound person needs at least 100 ounces per/day) Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are dehydrators and shouldn't be substituted for water.
Avoid or limit your consumption of sugar, artificial sweeteners and processed foods. They're loaded with emtpy calories have no nutritional value, plus they can increase your appetite for 90 minutes after consumption. Make choices that include organic fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
Stretch. When you are stressed-out, your muscles are less flexible than usual.
When wrapping gifts, vary your positions. For example, try standing at a table or countertop for one package, sitting on a bed for another, sitting in a comfortable chair for another, etc.
Sleep is vital. Your body literally rejuvenates and heals while you are sleeping.
Dr. Bautch also recommends a visit to a chiropractor, noting that subluxations in the spine can cause stress to the nervous system and decrease immune function.