10 steps to a healthier, happier holiday season

by Lashaun Dale, Ma, MPH, HLC2

Holidays are wonderful times for most but carry their own share of extra business and often a dose of unwelcome stress. Decide today that this year will bring a different and merrier season for you. To recognize your power of choice in every decision means embracing the responsibility for your life’s direction and at the same time realizing that if you don’t like the course of your day or your life, you can change it. If you can make this first mental leap, you’ll find that you are more careful about your choices and that those choices are enlivened by the knowledge that you have the power to transform and uplift your life at any time.

1. Wash your hands frequently and avoid close contact with those who are sick—it is hard to be merry when you are not well.

2. Do your holiday shopping now so you can enjoy the process for once and not rush to get it done on a budget.

3. Try a breathing cocktail instead this year…take time to consciously improve your breathing techniques—seek out a yoga class or meditation class with a teacher skilled in pranayama exercises…you will be shocked at how this simple knowledge of liberated breathing patterns can transform your health, mind and spirit.

4. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.


5. Get adequate sleep. It is winter, these are the very best months for lingering moments in a cozy bed…take time and enjoy!

6. Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially foods containing vitamin C (such as citrus fruits) and vitamin D (such as cod liver oil) and spend a few minutes a day in sunlight to help your body make and store vitamin D.

7. Exercise regularly-find a group fitness class that you will attend regularly…the music the community and the standing appointment will make it easier to commit to a workout.

8. Lower stress by taking time to laugh…see a funny movie, connect with a friend or family and reminisce about old times.

9. Consider including holistic alternatives in your wellness or healing plan, such as massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, homeopathic and naturopathic remedies, acupuncture and other health care options.

10. Stop what you are doing right now and write down 10 things from 2008 for which you feel gratitude and great appreciation…and 10 things you want to achieve, experience, do or become in 2009.

About the author: Lashaun Dale began teaching fitness classes as a teenager here in Whitefish, Montana and now offers workshops, seminars and master-classes nationally and abroad.  Lashaun holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, and was recently awarded an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.  She also teaches and is Creative Manager of Group Fitness at Equinox Fitness Clubs.  Lashaun is certified and by ACE, NSCA, and CHEK specializing in yoga, core strength, flexibility training and youth fitness.  She represents Team Body Bar and is featured in the Master Your Body videos:  Core Strength and Stretch, Sportszone, Yogasculpt, Equanimity, Strength Resolutions and Body Bar Flex.  Lashaun is committed to inspiring all generations to exercise and live healthy, well and to be happy.  A regular contributor to media publications such as SELF, Women’s Health and Fitness magazines, Lashaun is especially proud to be a new mom, to Tevan and Vanessa.


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