STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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When exercising, warm up for about five to 10 minutes and afterwards cool down for the same amount of time. This will increase flexibility and prevent muscle soreness.


Working too hard at exercise may bring fatigue, breathing problems, nausea, faintness and irregular heartbeat. To avoid injury, rest some days or alternate between vigorous and light activity. It cannot be stressed enough: Regular exercise is important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone. Give it a try.

Did you ever dream of finding the Fountain of Youth? Well, you can discover it, in a way. Look for the next best thing: Exercise.


Anxiety disorders are rampant. They are the most common psychiatric illness in the United States, surpassing depression. Exercise figures prominently in the treatment and relief of anxiety and related disorders. It has been touted as a life extender for centuries. You constantly hear or read the message about its many benefits. According to Greg Anderson in his book “The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness” (Harper, 1995), regular physical activity will:


•  tone muscle;

•  add dimension to your figure and posture;

•  have a good effect on your energy levels;

•  increase your lung and heart capacity;

•  prevent bone density loss;

•  relieve stress;

•  burn calories;

•  help keep weight off;

•  brighten your mood;

•  improve cognition; and

•  make you feel and look younger.

EXERCISE CAN BE A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

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The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (www.adaa.org) says exercise is vital for maintaining mental fitness. It improves alertness and concentration and enhances overall cognitive function. An added benefit is that it reduces stress as well as fatigue. Exercise affects the stress your brain feels. The rest of your body is influenced by the damage stress causes and the relief activity affords. Scientists maintain participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood and improve sleep and self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. It enables the body to release endorphins, a natural painkiller and mood enhancer.


Research has found physically active individuals are less likely to have bouts of anxiety than their sedentary counterparts. In one study, the findings indicated a person getting regular exercise was 25 percent less likely to be affected by an anxiety disorder over the next five years than a non-exerciser.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises exercising at least 30 minutes on most days of the week to decrease the risk of chronic disease. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program.