Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Quick Tips for a Healthy Halloween

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Before your willpower gets tossed away in a pile of candy wrappers, know you can have a piece of candy and be healthy, too …

It’s all in how you do it. Halloween can be the start of a season-long fight against the allure of comfort foods, festive meals, and sweets. Or, it can be a practice run for a healthier approach to the big-food holidays that follow.

Here are quick ways to stay on the wellness path, even when little goblins bearing bite-size sugar haunt your best intentions.

Pre-Halloween

DO stock up on healthy snacks and fresh produce. Put these full-filling nibbles conveniently within reach. Make them the fastest, easiest option to ward off hunger. Mix sweet and savory for a multi-craving buster.

A festive mix, but not scary sweet.
A festive mix, but not scary sweet.

Tip: Create your own Halloween trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, unbuttered popcorn, mini-pretzels. Throw in a small handful of chocolate morsels or candy corn for the right ratio of one part festive to five parts healthy.

DO give a healthy share. Trick-or-treaters, and their parents, will appreciate the novelty of decorative pencils, plastic rings, or fun stickers in their goodie bags. You can buy these in bulk where party goods are sold. Think outside the candy bag when you shop for treats.

DO plan a quick and healthy Halloween dinner. Regardless of which side of the door you are on, once twilight sets, you’ll be busy. It is hard to sit down to a full meal, but there are alternatives besides fast food.

Tip: Set out a buffet of fresh veggie sticks, cheese chunks, whole wheat crackers, and fruit. These can be prepared the night before and munched on while costumes are donned. Easy and minimal chance for mess. They also can be pulled out of the fridge later in the night, you know, in case any little candy hunters claim “hunger.”

On Halloween

Strength train to carry the kids' goodie bags!
Strength train to carry the kids’ goodie bags!

DO manage to fit in a workout. It is probably a busier day than usual. If nothing else, there is ongoing interruption by kids hoping for a hand-out from your candy stash. The one you are trying to forget exists. Power through, knowing if you sneak in treats of your own, it is only one part of your otherwise healthy day.

Jack-o-lanterns, picDO focus on other aspects of Halloween. (Yes, there are some beyond the candy.) Take note of the crisp fall weather, the crazy costumes and how they change yet stay the same over the years (same concept, different super hero). Decorate your entrance way. There are many inexpensive ways to create Halloween spirit that can rival the mounds of candy.

Tip: Invite adult friends to walk the neighborhood with you. Tag-team: Circuit around several blocks, then relieve someone of candy-distribution duty. Time yourselves for a little healthy competition. Winner gets a candy bar!

DO keep moving. As you wait for trick-or-treaters, walk in place, do some stretches, crunches, or squats. Dash to the door and back. Climb the stairs. Add resistance by carrying your bucket of treats.

DO wear comfortable footwear. Avoid having any excuses for skipping your workout for the next several days. Blisters from a costume party’s required spiked shoes are not a good reason to hit the couch.

Tip: Be the parent who volunteers to make a candy delivery. After a street of homes, kids arms get tired. Put that upper-body routine you’ve done all year to good use. Collect the goodie bags and run them back home to avoid straining their little arms and hands.

Post-Halloween

Get back on track.
Get back on track.

DO stick with your healthy routine. You may have completely lost your resolve on Halloween. Perhaps you continued to stuff Twix® bars in your pocket on the way out the next morning. But, you are still a success.

All-or-nothing is defeatist thinking. Use your wise mind. Throw yourself full force into your fitness routine. Get back on the bike and cycle. Cook up a flavorful, healthy meal. One junk day is not a catastrophe. It does not signal upcoming bouts of dietary and fitness abandon.

Tip: Keep calm and carry on healthily!

Image Credits

Halloween trail mix: www.flickr.com/photos/jodimichelle/10059731284/

Jack-o-lanterns: pixabay.com/en/autumn-decoration-face-fall-funny-218803/

Fresh apple: pixabay.com/en/apple-farm-pick-fruit-food-plant-535539/

 

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