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A Healthy Plan for Happy Holidays

By Sara Butler

Holiday Shopping

We’ve all been there -- traversing the interstate with two cranky kids in the backseat, crazy drivers passing you on the right as 18-wheelers blow by you in the left, with five hours or so to go before you reach your final destination. You’re certain you’ll have less hair by the time you reach your destination -- and the hair that remains may be just a bit grayer. And plane travel? Most of the time it really doesn’t seem much easier.

Do you know what you could use right now? A step-by-step guide to staying healthy this holiday season, which kicks off in earnest on Black Friday when the everyone’s destination seems to be the mall. Luckily, the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic have just what you need to stay healthy and happy as you celebrate the holidays.

Step 1: Sleep

The holidays can be one of the most hectic times of the year and trying to work travel plans into the mix leaves you sleep deprived and wishing you could hit the hay for about a week. And it’s not just that baggage under your eyes that sleep deprivation causes; it can also cause your mood to plummet, your appetite to skyrocket, and your overall health to decline.

The answer? Make sleep a priority. No matter what you’re doing or where you’re going, aim for 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye per night. Throw in a nap here and there if you need it -- after all, it is the holidays. It’s not a bad idea to try to doze as you travel if you’re not stuck with driving duties. Take turns driving if you can or take a sleep mask and travel pillow on the plane to catch a few Zzz’s.

Remember, the sleep you miss out on really can’t be made up for by sleeping in for a few days after the holidays are through. Sleep deficits are real and very difficult to make up. Plus, they can really impact your continued health and wellness.

Step 2: Deal With Stress

Grabbing a few holiday cookies and washing them down with a cup of eggnog may seem as if it’s a good solution to the stresses of the holidays, but it’s far from it. The holidays are stressful, and if you want to be one of the jolliest people this side of the nuthouse, you need to find a way to deal with it effectively.

Treat yourself to a massage, avoid the mall at all costs (online gift shopping is your friend!), take a yoga class, or simply make some time to put on your fuzzy socks, cuddle up, and enjoy a good book. As long as you take the time to identify the stresses in your life this holiday season and do something to de-stress, you should be golden.

Step 3: Keep Up Your Exercise Routine

It can be difficult to keep up with some semblance of your regular exercise routine over the holidays when traveling, but you should make the effort to move your body at least a little each day. If you’re at a hotel, utilize its exercise facilities or the pool. If you’re with friends and family, organize an afternoon walk, go ice skating, or maybe take a hike if the weather allows. As little as 20 minutes of moderate activity helps you stay active during the holidays and will make your regular exercise routine easier to get back to when you get home.

Step 4: Drink Water

You should endeavor to drink plenty of water each day, especially if air travel is in your plans. Spending long hours locked in a metal tube traveling at roughly 500 miles per hour with a bunch of strangers during the height of cold and flu season is not a recipe for continued health. You can help to negate the impact of travel by ensuring you’re getting enough fluids to keep your mucous membranes supple and ready to help you fight off the cold and flu.

Step 5: See a Chiropractor

So, you’re out of town and can’t get in to see your regular chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic? No problem! It just so happens that The Joint has more than 425 clinics nationwide, so the chances are pretty good you can find a local clinic to help you stay free from dysfunction and restriction this holiday season no matter where you are.

From all of us at The Joint Chiropractic, we hope you have a happy holiday season, but most importantly, we hope it’s the healthiest one ever!

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