Holidays mean you let loose and forgo your otherwise strict lifestyle habits. But ‘enjoying’ the holidays with reckless abandon can actually be really bad for your body and overall health.
Yes, we know it’s Dashain, that time of the year when indulgence rules our lives, but here are a few easy ways you can stay healthy while having a good time during the upcoming festivities.
Be on the move
Even if you don’t get much time to work out like you usually do during Dashain, you can still keep moving. Avoid sitting still for long periods of time. It could be something as simple as running up and down the stairs a few times during the day – just don’t stay stationary throughout the day. You could also just gather a few of your cousins or friends and start a slapdash game that requires physical activity like an impromptu soccer match or a game of badminton. Keep moving even if it is a really small activity.
Drink plenty of water
In all the hustle and bustle of the festivities we forget to hydrate our bodies. Don’t make this mistake. It makes your body more lethargic and causes frequent muscle cramps. Also, we have tons of unhealthy food during Dashain. Most of the food we indulge during this time is excessively oily and full of unhealthy fats, calories, sugar or is processed. This puts a lot of strain on our digestive system. Drinking enough water helps our digestive system tackle this. Also, drinking lots of water makes you feel more full which helps you, to a certain extent, cut down on the overindulgence of unhealthy food.
Get enough sleep
We are so busy to get all the rituals and traditions right during Dashain that we cut down on our sleep time. This causes problems similar to not having enough water i.e. you are more tired and you get muscles cramps easily. Sleeping and eating are the activities that generate energy required by our bodies. Cutting down on one means your body makes up for it by doubling on the other. So less sleep equals having more unhealthy food. If it’s possible, go to bed early and wake up early instead of doing the opposite. This sets your biological clock on a consistent track and several studies have shown that having a congruous biological clock is closely related with being healthy.
Make a routine and stick to it
This tip sounds very tedious. Who wants to make daily routines for the holidays, right? After all, holidays are supposed to be a break from our planned everyday lives. But if you want to stay healthy during this time then this step is very important. By planning we don’t mean you have to make a detailed routine on how you are going to spend your whole day – just a routine for staying healthy should do. Everything from having a certain number of glasses of water to the time you go to bed and wake up falls under this. Mornings are the ideal time for working out but you can set any time that suits you as your workout time. But make sure you do it at the same time every single day.
Know the difference between one night (or day) and a whole season
Just because that mutton kebab your mother prepared is delicious does not mean that you have to finish the whole dish in a single sitting. First, you are overeating and this will come back to bite you when you realize how much calories, fat and salt you just consumed in the form of that one dish. Second, you are eating for a single night not the whole season. Practice some self-control and stop eating when you feel full. This is the only time we suggest you don’t listen to your heart because you will always feel like having a little more of that tasty dish if you do.
Other things to keep in mind
Keep your hands clean. You will have to visit multiple houses to put on tika and get blessings from your relatives. Between all this, your hands get super dirty and you might forget to clean them before eating. This can result in you getting sick. So make sure to clean your hands at all times. If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water every single time you touch something, at least try to sanitize it with a hand sanitizer.
Limit alcohol consumption. Yes, it is an old Nepalis tradition to consume tons of alcohol during Dashain but this never ends well. You can enjoy a glass or two of your favorite drink but don’t go overboard with it.
Don’t skip meals. This will ultimately result in you having more food than you normally would. It’s not healthy and is actually counterproductive. Even if you are heading to a party (with loads of delicious food lined up), have a light snack – like a fruit or some yogurt – before you go.