The end of year holidays are here!
Yes it is the most beautiful time of the year whether you are having a big celebration or not. I’ve heard the advice given to disregard health worries or weight gain and just eat to your heart’s content. But will your heart and blood sugar levels find comfort in that suggestion, or can you eat a lot and enjoy without feeling guilty or making apologies? What does gaining weight even have to with anything? Can’t I just go to the gym next year and work off the extra weight?
You may be doing a big celebration with lots of family visiting, or you are invited to celebrate somewhere other than your own home, or spending the holidays alone, but chances are you are still going to eat extra at some sort of celebration. The grocery stores, magazines, TV ads and the chatter of co-workers all contribute to the extravagant meal planning done at this time of year. And since we all love food eat we will.
So why even give a thought to health issues which relate to what and how much we eat? The fact that you may be unaware that you are diabetic, borderline diabetic, or that you are on the road to a heart attack is exactly the reason to try some avoidance measures. And it’s not just the senior crowd that needs to be aware. It’s every single one of us because we eat and love food.
What can you do?
Its the holidays and we are busy so let’s cut it down to six measures to take without a whole lot of explaining. We know how to dig deeper right? Exactly.
1. Sugar is a killer in our diets. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Drinking water when you feel like having something sweet will stop you from wanting to have something sweet to drink or eat. Put cases of water in your home instead of sodas and you will reach for the water instead of sugary drinks. If you are the one giving the party fill those glasses of water and show the guests where to grab a bottle of water when they need some more water. Instead of buying cases of soda buy cases of water. It’s not only healthier it’s even cheaper.
2. Get some exercise each day without even going to a gym if you aren’t able to make it to one. Do some twenty minutes of walking each day. During the busy holiday season stop holding up people in the parking lots waiting for the closest parking spot. Park and walk! The supermarkets are crowded. People have to work, shop and care for families so time is limited. Get some exercise by parking where the space is available and walk to the store.
When you go to your destination dinner don’t be the one sitting down all day waiting for the hostess to bring you the food. Get some exercise by getting up and offering some assistance. Help to load the dishwasher after the meal, or help haul the trash out if the dishes are all disposable.
3. Get proper sleep in spite of how much there is to do with shopping online, perhaps wrapping gifts, putting up decorations, cooking, and the myriad of need to be done right now activities we all seem to assume. Get to bed at your regular time and be consistent, so you are well rested and you won’t feel so stressed during the day at work or while on the roads.
4. When you are In a hurry with your errands this holiday season and realize you haven’t eaten you have just put a strain on your body and the blood stream will not be happy. Instead of fast food grab some veggies or have some fruits for your hunger quencher. There are plenty of one meal sizes of salads and individual fruit servings ready to eat right close to where you may be shopping. Stay away from all of our favorites - those enticing breads and stick with a healthier version.
5. Try to check your blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood sugar levels so you have a fair idea of your health regarding these three measures. This may help you worry less if you are not feeling energetic while trying to rush around during the holidays or have any surprises. Keep some fruits near at hand for the good sugar and energy.
6. Enjoy the holidays. Be patient especially in traffic and while standing in long lines. Everyone wants to get where they are headed. And everyone wants to pick up that special gift for themselves, their friends and their loved ones. We all want the same for our loved ones. Don’t drink and drive. Reduce your stress and keep diabetes at bay.
According to the American Diabetes Association 1.2 million people are affected by one type1 diabetes. And, they project that 40,000 will be diagnosed this year. So learn about diabetes and how to lower your risk. You can get more information here: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes which is very informative and could be just what you need.
Ruth Y. Webster