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6 Tips in Maintaining Healthy Habits During the Holidays

Between the temptation of binge-watching holiday movies, abundance of sugary treats and desire to remain indoors to avoid icy temperatures, keeping healthy habits can be tricky throughout the winter months. During the holidays, oftentimes activities like walks around the block or healthy-snack prep get set aside for other more exciting annual traditions. While it is important and meaningful to ensure we joyfully experience our favorite holiday traditions, it is useful to keep in mind how they are contributing to our family’s overall health. By no means are we saying to remove baking with Grandma or gathering together for a viewing of ‘Elf’ from your holiday traditions — it’s all about balance and creating a thriving lifestyle that works best for you! If you are interested in boosting your healthy habits during the holidays, though, check out these six tips! 

 1. Try out new, fun workout videos 

If you aren’t quite ready to brave the winter winds outside, there are plenty of options to get you and your girl moving indoors! Hop on YouTube to find an awesome selection of free workout and yoga videos for the two of you to enjoy – the variety is endless, we promise. This time of year, channels often have holiday-themed episodes, so you and your girl can consider this a new holiday tradition! Also, check out our physical training guide for other great ideas.

2. Schedule a blend of outdoor activities 

When parents schedule an activity out on the calendar, there is a much greater likelihood of follow-through. Make a plan in advance with your family to try out a mix of different heart-pumping activities you can do together outdoors. Heading out for a day of sled riding is a great way to increase your step count and ice skating is a fun opportunity to try out something different! And anyone who’s ever trekked through thick winter snow can confirm that alone is a workout, so building a snowman or having a snowball fight definitely counts here! 

3. Keep normal and consistent bedtimes 

As exciting as the holidays are and tempting it is to stay up late, ensuring your girl gets enough sleep is paramount. To maintain the rest of the healthy habits on this list, girls must start with a consistent 7-9 hours of sleep. Without adequate rest, girls have greater difficulty making decisions and are less motivated. Additionally, when sleep is minimal, girls lack the energy they need to participate in physical activities and engage with family members. For success, parents should set a time, stick to it and lead by example! 

4. Maintain regular portions 

Keeping a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats on your girl’s plate is something you should keep an eye out for year-round, but especially during the holidays. Kids generally do not know how to adequately measure healthy portions, so parents should lend a helping hand and explain what they are doing. Remind your girl to listen to her body’s ‘full’ cues, breathe while eating and take it slow. 

5. Incorporate your girl into holiday cooking 

This year, get your girl involved in the kitchen to teach her about the hard work, care and planning that goes into cooking for family. When you are identifying recipes and grabbing produce at the grocery store, keep her by your side. Explain to her your decision-making. Teach her how to properly measure ingredients and, finally, have her serve as the taste-tester. From start to finish, include your girl in the process every step of the way. Throughout this experience, she will gain a new perspective about the value of healthy foods, patience and teamwork.  

6. Replace screentime with holiday preparation 

During holiday breaks, evenings and weekends, replace your girls’ iPad, computer or phone use with holiday preparation activities. Think about what she would be doing during this downtime and supplement it with something that contributes to your family’s holiday celebration. After school does your girl immediately grab the iPad? Instead, use this time to create hand-made decorations, teach her how to cook holiday dishes or write greeting cards to out-of-town relatives.  

Are you interested in adding a new healthy activity to your girl’s life year-round? Join us at Girls on the Run! Get started today and find a council near you here