November is American Diabetes Month, so this is the perfect time to recommit to some healthy habits as we move into the holidays.
Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans, but it doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying the holidays.On the other hand, if you’re thinking that you’re going to start following your doctor’s advice… in the new year, then you’re making a mistake. November and December shouldn’t be blanket permission to forget all your good habits. But they also don’t have to be two months of feeling left out of the fun.
There are a few central principles to keep in mind:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stay active.
- Make healthy food choices.
- Quit smoking.
If you’re not already following those basic rules, they can look like big goals, especially during this busy time of year when we’re surrounded by temptations, stress, and celebrations. However, small steps are also worth taking. Sometimes it’s as simple as a trade-off.
Instead of this… do this:
- Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.
- Instead of celebrating with sweets in the break room, make a toast with sparkling water and spend time together.
- Instead of standing near the buffet table, join the liveliest group at the party.
- Instead of getting together for Christmas cookies and movies, go to mall with friends and walk briskly while finishing your shopping.
- Instead of ordering last in a restaurant, order first and choose a healthy dish; others will follow your lead.
- Instead of watching TV after work, tackle that household chore you’ve been procrastinating about.
- Instead of yet another cocktail party, go ice skating, caroling, or dancing.
- Instead of watching the commercials in your favorite TV shows, do some situps or biceps curls.
- Instead of lighting up, sing some holiday songs or call friends and family you won’t see over the holidays this year.
- Fill half your plate with green veggies or salad before you add latkes or sweet potato casserole.
- Instead of calling or texting a colleague, walk down the hall to speak in person.
- Instead of sitting during a phone call, use your smartphone and walk while you talk.
You won’t feel deprived, and you won’t have any regrets after the holidays. In fact, you might have some healthy new habits to start the New Year off right!