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7 Small Ways to Get Healthy for the Holidays

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UK chapter.

It’s officially November, which means Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it will be Christmas time before we know it. This also means lots of eating—mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cornbread, gingerbread cookies, and anything and everything with chocolate. This is my favorite food season, so I cannot wait for all of these delicious treats. However, these also are not the healthiest foods, obviously (which is why they’re so good!). In order to prepare my body for the sitting around and eating until I have to unbutton my jeans, I’ve decided to start being a little bit healthier these next few weeks. And, I thought, why not share it with you? Here are seven easy ways to get healthy for the holidays:


  1. Wake up 10 minutes earlier.

Waking up is easily the worst part of my day. I hate doing it, and I’m not good at not snoozing my alarm seven times before finally rolling out of bed with ten minutes to get ready. But, I am going to try waking up just a little earlier every day to get my body moving and ready to take on the day—this means less coffees needed (=less calories and less money spent) and maybe my brain will function a little better at my early classes. 


  1. Eat fruit only in the morning.

Fruits have natural sugars in them, which are a great way to give your body energy in the morning, and they’re obviously healthy. However, eating them later in the day stores this sugar in your body and makes it unhealthy (I don’t know the exact science, but trust me). So, cutting out unnecessary sugars, even natural ones, will be beneficial when the loads of sugar will be pouring in from all the holiday desserts. 


  1. Take the long way to class.

If you follow the first tip and get up ten minutes earlier, you’ll have time for this. Take the long way to class to get in a little more movement than your daily step count. These extra few minutes for every class, every day should make your body feel a little healthier. 


  1. Drink a glass of water before each meal.

We hear it all the time from health gurus everywhere—”drink more water.” I’m not gonna tell you something you already know. Obviously, drinking lots of water hydrates you and helps you get healthier, in many ways. But something additional I’m going to do is drink a full glass of water before each meal. Sometimes our bodies mistake hunger for thirst, so doing this will help fill up a little before each meal, therefore allowing us to prevent overeating. 


  1. Change your late-night study snacks.

I love snacking, especially late at night, but that’s the worst thing you can do for your body. Instead of opting for the Starbucks coffee and cookie when you’re at the library at 11 pm, bring your own snack from home. Nuts are a great option and have a lot of protein and magnesium, which converts into energy and will help when studying.


  1. Alternate your drinks with water.

Again, with the water! I know it’s annoying to hear, but like I said, it does have so many benefits. So, every time you order a drink that’s not water (especially alcoholic ones), have a glass of water as well before refilling. This way, you can still have your pumpkin spice lattes and quench your thirst without the extra empty calories.


  1. Keep your immune system healthy.

With weather like this, it’s pretty easy to catch a cold. Make sure you are getting the nutrients you need now so that you won’t feel sick during the holidays. I take Emergen-C if I feel a little under the weather and a daily multivitamin every morning (because I know I’m not getting all my nutrients from what I eat, no matter how healthy I am being). Build up your immune system before you indulge this holiday season!

It’s not realistic to say you’re not going to have unhealthy snacks or sweets during this season. But, as a college student, there’s no time or money to start doing insane workout classes or buying all organic meals. So, doing these few small things are easy, cost-effective ways to get into a healthier routine. This way, you can still eat the pie and the brownies (and more, if you want!) and not feel as guilty. ☺

Hi, I'm Jillian! I am currently studying Interior Design and Business at the University of Kentucky. Besides design, some of my passions include writing and fashion. I also love traveling--exploring new, fun places with friends is one of my favorites pastimes.