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12 easy health tips to counteract holiday indulgence

The holidays are here and that means swans are a-swimming, lords are
a-leaping, dreidels are a-spinning and calories are a-massing.

Each year, we start the season with the best of intentions: We tell ourselves we won’t overeat, drink to excess or embarrass ourselves at the company office party. Most of us fail miserably on the first two counts but, if we’re lucky, avoid slinking shamefacedly to our workstations after dirty dancing with a caterer on the boardroom table.

Keeping in mind that holiday intake-control ambitions generally fall as flat as leftover New Year’s champagne, here are 12 health tips brokers and employers should share with workers after the 12 days of Christmas have come and gone:

  1. Resolution, schmezolution. If you’re telling yourself you’ll hit the gym for an hour every day and give up carbs forever, forget about it. Being too ambitious about your fitness goals is a precursor to failure. A recent study showed just 8 percent of New Year’s resolutions succeed and 36 percent are abandoned after a month.1
  2. Become a trendsetter. Convince co-workers and friends to join you at the gym or on your jogs. There’s strength in numbers, not to mention pressure to live up to your goals.
  3. Check your employee benefits. Many employers help workers succeed in their fitness efforts with tips and tools available through company-sponsored wellness programs. Some even have on-site fitness centers or partner with off-site gyms to provide discounted memberships for employees.     
  4. Pour yourself a drink ... a drink of H2O, that is. Sipping water throughout the day will increase your metabolism and help in weight-loss efforts. Extra bonus: Drinking lots of water leaves skin more hydrated and youthful-looking.
  5. Put down the bottle. When you drink alcohol, you drink calories. By limiting your intake, you’ll lose weight. Extra bonus: While water hydrates your skin and improves your appearance, alcohol does just the opposite. Too much leaves your skin dry and your body bloated, making you look not just older but heavier too.    
  6. Grab a plate. As the saying goes, it’s not what you eat but how much you eat. Some of today’s dinner plates are the size of serving platters. Stock your cabinet with salad plates. Odds are you’ll eat less.
  7. Throw some shade. Spending a limited amount of time in the sun results in a light tan that makes you look healthy and active. It also increases the body’s production of Vitamin D and is credited with reducing depression. But remember what they say about too much of a good thing. Spending hours in the sun not only increases the odds of skin cancer, it’s also bad for your appearance.  According to WebMD, sun exposure causes most of the skin changes associated with aging, including wrinkles and dark spots. A woman at age 40 who’s protected herself from the sun’s rays has the skin of a 30-year-old.2
  8. Stub out that cigarette. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking kills one in five people in the United States each year, yet it’s the most preventable cause of death.3
  9. Have your cake and eat it too. The key to a successful diet is cheating every once in a while. A treat tastes better if it’s a reward for a week of eating well.
  10. Know your numbers. Knowing your cholesterol and blood sugar levels and having them checked regularly will give you greater insight into what your diet goals should be.
  11. Do your research. Did your maternal grandmother have breast cancer? Did your father have high blood pressure? Your family history can affect your own health and wellness, so do a little digging.
  12. Insure your health. While you’re working toward improved health and fitness, make sure your insurance portfolio is healthy too. Take a look at your major medical insurance, life insurance and other employer-paid coverage. If your current choices aren’t providing the financial protection you need, consider adding voluntary insurance to the mix. If you are sick or hurt, voluntary insurance policies can help with unexpected expenses. For example, you can use their cash benefits to help pay bills that keep rolling in while you’re injured or ill, including the rent or mortgage, credit cards, utilities, child care and any other expense threatening your family’s financial security.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a solicitation.

Sources

1 WebMD, “Cosmetic Procedures: Skin Cancer and Sun Exposure,” accessed Oct. 23, 2013 - http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun/sun-exposure-skin-cancer
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Smoking & Tobacco Use,” accessed Oct. 23, 2013 - http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/
3 University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, “New Year’s Resolution Statistics,” accessed Oct. 23, 2013 - http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/