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As December's frosty embrace ushers in the holiday season, we find ourselves in a delicate dance between maintaining our health and succumbing to the temptations that abound. Amidst the glittering ornaments and cozy gatherings, we have some valuable tips to help you navigate the labyrinth of December's delights in your pursuit of a balanced and vibrant well-being. Here are ten recommendations:

  1. Eat Before Going Out: Be strategic and start your day with something filling and healthy before heading out to parties, trips, or family dinners. Focus on fiber and protein to keep you full so you won't be tempted to overindulge when hunger strikes.
  2. Drink with Moderation: Regulate your alcohol, soda, and eggnog consumption since these beverages add extra calories to your festive meals. Consider alternating a glass of water with a calorie-filled drink to stay hydrated and make healthier choices.
  3. Be Active: Stick to your fitness routine or attend your favorite exercise classes whenever possible. If time is tight, aim for short 15–20-minute workouts to keep your energy up and maintain your progress.
  4. Add Yoga or Meditation: Combat holiday stress by adding meditation or yoga to your wellness routine. At the YMCA, we offer a variety of yoga classes suitable for all experience and flexibility levels, including chair yoga. The busier you are, the more you need these moments of calm.
  5. Try Our New YMCA 360 App: When traveling or unable to make it to the Y, make the most of your membership with full access to YMCA 360. This app provides hundreds of workouts catering to all tastes and fitness levels. Access it through our website at www.clevelandymca.org.
  6. Set Realistic Expectations: Be realistic about your fitness and weight goals in December. Instead of aiming for significant improvements, focus on maintaining your current level of fitness and weight. Consistency is key.
  7. Drink Lots of Water: Drinking ample water can curb your appetite and boost your energy levels. Whenever you feel tired, start your day with a tall glass of cold water to jumpstart your metabolism.
  8. Get Your ZZZZs: With numerous holiday obligations, it's easy to skimp on sleep. However, lack of sleep can affect your metabolism and lead to weight gain. Make rest a priority to ensure you're well-rested and can make mindful eating choices.
  9. Enjoy Yourself: Don't deny yourself the joy of indulging in your favorite holiday treats, like Aunt Edna's famous pecan pie. A healthy lifestyle is about balance, so savor the special foods of the season in smaller portions.
  10. Fight the "All or Nothing" Mindset: December has 31 days, and even if you deviate from your healthy habits for a week, you'll still have 24 days to make positive choices. Grant yourself the grace and flexibility to enjoy the season while knowing that the Y is here to support your journey back on track when you're ready.

This holiday season let's prioritize our well-being by keeping things simple and sustainable. By following these tips and embracing moderation, we can strike a balance between enjoying the festivities and staying on the path to a healthier, happier you. The YMCA of Greater Cleveland is here to support you every step of the way.

Wishing you a joyful and healthy holiday season!