Staying healthy during the holidays


Relaxation and meditation type activities also may be used to control stress and anxiety.

By Gregory Whyte

Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center

Holidays, such as the upcoming Labor Day, can be times of stress and anxiety. Below are a number of tips and techniques that may help people stay healthy while enjoying the holidays.

Manage stress, anxiety and depression

We know that stress, anxiety and depression are common during the holidays. The good news is, they can be effectively managed.

A component of most programs that are designed to manage these conditions is exercise. Exercising the body regularly conditions it to deal with varying degrees of stress. In addition, this conditioning not only helps to keep anxiety and depression at bay, but it also helps the body cope with the symptoms of these conditions should they develop. Studies show that exercise used to combat anxiety and depression do not have to be intense or even lengthy. Ten minutes of brisk walking could be as effective as a workout that is 40 minutes or longer.

Exercise also produces endorphins (chemicals in the brain that fosters sleep and suppresses pain). These chemicals are able to lessen the impact of stress and the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Relaxation and meditation type activities may also be used to control stress and anxiety. Programs such as fusion one and yoga offer such activities.

Pay attention to your diet and eating habits

The stressful nature of most holidays demands that one’s diet includes all of the important nutrients. The following are important:

• Try not to skip breakfast.

• Avoid eating heavy meals during the nighttime hours.

• Use alcohol in moderation.

• Avoid over eating and make use of exercise to burn excess calories.

• Try to make your holiday dishes healthier by replacing traditional ingredients with healthier ones.

• Eat more vegetables, fruits and nuts.

• Drink plenty of water.

• Go easy on the pastries.

• Consume only healthy snacks. Good ones are those low in sugar and fat. Keep in mind also that many fruits and vegetables make excellent snacks.

Get adequate amounts of rest and sleep

For all your fitness needs, visit the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center at 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte or call 941-625-4175, ext. 263.


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