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5 Tips in Maintaining Healthy Habits During the Holidays

Girls on the Run participant in a pink GOTR shirt sitting on a living room floor with her guardian

Between the temptation of binge-watching holiday movies, abundance of sugary treats and desire to remain indoors to avoid chilly temperatures, keeping healthy habits can be tricky throughout the winter months. During the holidays, oftentimes activities like walks around the block or healthy-snack prep get set aside for other more exciting annual traditions. While it is important and meaningful to ensure we joyfully experience our favorite holiday traditions, it is useful to keep in mind how they are contributing to our family’s overall health. By no means are we saying to remove baking with Grandma or gathering together for a viewing of ‘Elf’ from your holiday traditions — it’s all about balance and creating a thriving lifestyle that works best for you! If you are interested in boosting your healthy habits during the holidays, though, check out these six tips!


1. Try out new, fun workout videos 

Embrace the comfort of indoor workouts without worrying about the chilly winter weather! Hop on YouTube to find an awesome selection of free workout and yoga videos for the two of you to enjoy – the variety is endless, we promise. This time of year, channels often have holiday-themed episodes, so you and your girl can consider this a new holiday tradition! Also, check out our physical training guide for other great ideas.


2. Schedule a blend of outdoor activities

When parents schedule an activity out on the calendar, there is a much greater likelihood of follow-through. Make a plan in advance with your family to try out a mix of different heart-pumping activities you can do together outdoors. Explore the beauty of nearby desert trails with a family hike or bike ride. Swap snowman-building for a creative holiday scavenger hunt around your neighborhood or turn a traditional snowball fight into a playful game of catch with soft, holiday-themed beanbags – a perfect way to stay festive and have fun in our Phoenix winter wonderland. Make the most of the season by infusing your outdoor activities with holiday cheer and the unique charm of our desert surroundings! 


3. Keep normal and consistent bedtimes

As exciting as the holidays are and as tempting as it is to stay up late, ensuring your girl gets enough sleep is paramount. To maintain the rest of the healthy habits on this list, girls must start with a consistent 7-9 hours of sleep. Without adequate rest, girls have greater difficulty making decisions and are less motivated. Additionally, when sleep is minimal, girls lack the energy they need to participate in physical activities and engage with family members. For success, parents should set a time, stick to it and lead by example! 


4. Maintain regular portions

Keeping a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats on your girl’s plate is something you should keep an eye out for year-round, but especially during the holidays. Kids generally do not know how to adequately measure healthy portions, so parents should lend a helping hand and explain what they are doing. Remind your girl to listen to her body’s ‘full’ cues, breathe while eating and take it slow. 


5. Incorporate your girl into holiday cooking

This year, get your girl involved and teach her about the hard work, care and planning that goes into preparing a healthy meal. When you are identifying recipes and grabbing produce at the grocery store, keep her by your side. Explain to her your decision-making. Teach her how to properly measure ingredients and, finally, have her serve as the taste-tester. From start to finish, include your girl in the process every step of the way. Throughout this experience, she will gain a new perspective about the value of healthy foods, patience and teamwork.  


In the spirit of maintaining balance and well-being throughout the holiday season, remember that incorporating these simple habits can make a significant difference. From embracing new workout routines to participating in outdoor activities with festive cheer and involving your girl in holiday traditions, it's all about creating a thriving lifestyle that works best for your family. As you navigate the joys of the season, savor your favorite traditions while keeping in mind the importance of overall health. Here's to a happy and healthy holiday season for you and your loved ones!

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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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