Primary Care

7 Ways to a Healthy, Stress-free Labor Day Weekend

September 01, 2021
Labor day party outside

Labor Day Weekend serves as the grand finale after a long, lived summer. Do not let indulgences steer you off the path of health and abundance. Here are some tips from Connor Mcneil, Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center Assistant Director, to keep you on track and balanced: 

  1. Get active – Researchers reported that physical activity improves cognitive function and lowers the risk of dementia by 30 percent. Exercise improves cardiovascular health, blood flow and reduces inflammation.

    Going to the beach? Instead of wasting away on a lounge chair in the sun, boogie board, walk the beach or make sandcastles with your children or grandchildren. Try something new like ocean fishing, surfing or biking. Do not forget to lather on the SPF.

    If the mountains are calling, hike, golf or swim in a lake. In some parts of the country, apples are ripe and for the picking. Check out the local apple picking farm. Walking, savory apples and Vitamin D, it is a win-win all around.

    Homeward bound? Try a new exercise class. Take advantage of that extra day off to explore a nearby landmark, go on a walking tour of the city or visit that hiking trail you have always wanted to try.

  2.  Plan your meals – Indulging in cheesy burgers, hotdogs and potato salad? Skip the bun and make it a burger salad. Researchers suggest to portion your plate with half fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grains and the other quarter lean proteins. 

    Balance out the pork barbecue or dessert with a smoothie for breakfast and a light salad for lunch. Drink plenty of water to counteract the extra salt intake.

  3. Regulate stress – Big family gatherings can be a major stressor for many individuals. Remember the gatherings are temporary and will not last the entire year so if Aunt Mildred has an opinion for everything or your crazy uncle wants to talk politics ad nauseum, it will not last forever.  Steer clear of controversial topics and keep the conversation light.

    The old adage “Fish and company smell in three days” rings true. Schedule two days of family time and block out Monday to get organized for the week ahead.

  4. Limit libations – Labor Day is, after all, a celebration, but who wants to spend an extra day off of work with a hangover? Alternate alcoholic drinks with a bottle of water. Skip the sugary coladas or daiquiris, and opt for a wine spritzer or clear liquor with soda. Hydrate throughout the day, limit to two alcoholic beverages (if any) and have no regrets. 
  5. Try something new – Whether you want to test out a healthy, plant-based recipe or attempt a fun activity like wake surfing, research says that the act of trying new things helps create new pathways in our brains. 
  6. Take a multivitamin or supplement – Traveling is germy. Load up on Vitamin C to boost the immune system. Ask your provider about supplements to keep illness at bay or probiotics to keep gut health in check. Wash your hands often especially after visiting public places with crowds of people.
  7. Enjoy the time off – Remember vacations are instrumental for our physical and mental health. They reduce stress, improve productivity, prevent heart disease and create better sleep. Be mindful of the time off. Take a deep breath and relax. 

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