Part 1: Start Your Own Healthy-Holiday Tradition
Over a decade ago, I started my own Christmas tradition of waking up early in the morning to go for a 10-mile run in the peaceful silence of Christmas morning. I can still remember the first year I started doing this, 1999, while I was in the midst of training for my freshman season of indoor track. I did not intend for this particular run to be any different from my other daily runs; I just wanted to keep up with my regular training schedule over the holidays so I would be in top shape for track meets. However, Christmas is not just any other day, and this run was not just another check mark in my training calendar. As I ran, I watched the sun rise on a magnificent, crisp winter morning. I saws family members greeting each other at the front door; I smiled as I watched children gleefully riding their first bicycles and trying out new toys. The world was alive on this Christmas morning, and I had experienced the excitement of watching it come to life. Unknowingly, I had just started my own healthy-holiday tradition. For the past eleven years, I have woken up before the sun to go running on Christmas morning. What began as a routine training run turned into a treasured annual holiday tradition that I hope to pass on to my own family.
Starting your own holiday tradition is a simple, cost-effective way to encourage healthy behaviors among your loved ones. There are plenty of fun, healthy activities to add to your holiday celebration- so if running is not your cup of tea, don’t fret! The key to creating your own healthy holiday tradition is to make it fun and personal. If you love baking, try out some new low-fat recipes for your holiday dinner. If you are into photography, take your family out on a hike for a fun, healthy photo-op! Here are some more great tips for creating your own healthy-holiday tradition:
- Don’t get rid of your old traditions! Rather, try starting new, healthy traditions and/or modifying some old ones with healthy additions and substitutions.
- To start your own unique healthy tradition for the holidays, begin by thinking about your own favorite activities and holiday traditions. Next, use some creativity to add your own healthy twist to these activities. It might take a bit of trial to come up with your own, individualized holiday tradition- so don’t be afraid to experiment!
- Involve your family and friends! Encouraging healthy behaviors among your loved ones is a great way to show your love during the holiday season and a great way to spend time together.
Be well, and stay tuned for Part 2: Healthy-Holiday Activities!