DEC 07, 2023 9:00 AM PST

Americans Struggle to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

A new survey conducted by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center indicates that many Americans struggle to get sufficient sleep, eat healthily, and exercise regularly during the holiday season.

The survey included over 1,000 respondents in the U.S. ages 18 and older who answered questions via the internet or over the phone. Questions addressed lifestyle habits during the holiday season, such as eating patterns, exercise, alcohol consumption, and sleep.

The results showed that about two thirds of the respondents overindulge in food during the holidays. About 45% of respondents also reported taking a break from their exercise routines. More than half of respondents indicated that they feel tired and have less time for themselves during this time of year, and about a third of respondents reported that they consume more alcohol than normal during the holidays.

Many of the unhealthy patterns that people fall into during the holidays are associated with worse physical health and can have a particularly negative impact on the heart. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet are key components of heart health. Alcohol consumption, and particularly overindulgence in alcohol, can contribute to heart disease and worsen heart health.

The authors noted that holiday travel, activities with relatives, and the general business of the season can cause many people to drop the healthy habits that they maintain during other parts of the year. Once those healthy habits are gone, it can be hard to get back on track. Strategies for maintaining your health during the holidays can include trying to consciously stick to your regular routines while also allowing yourself some grace. By allowing yourself flexibility but consciously maintaining your routines, you can stay on a better track for sleep, diet, and exercise while still participating in holiday activities.

Sources: Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
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