The holiday season is full of festive events, good food and cherished memories with loved ones. However, it can also be a time for more stress, unhealthy eating and getting sick. Check out these seven tips for staying healthy during the holidays.

Keep moving!

Although days are shorter and your schedule may be full, try to devote time to being active. Take a short walk while on break at work, attend one of Bootique’s Dance or Group Training workouts, or ride your bike to grocery store to pick up that one forgotten item. Playing hide-and-go seek, building a fort, or having a jump rope contest are easy and fun ways to help the whole family stay active. Research shows being active can strengthen your immune system, decrease stress, and help keep unwanted weight off.

Focus on fun

For a lot of us, the idea of fun includes food and drinks, but for a healthier twist this season, swap out the usual cookie baking tradition or gingerbread house decorating and establish a nonfood based holiday tradition like making homemade ornaments or volunteering at a local shelter.

Get enough sleep

Being tired can lead to increased stress, low energy and making unhealthy eating and drinking decisions. Don’t overbook yourself with holiday events and try to stick to a regular bedtime every night.

Don’t skip meals

If you are trying to limit your calories by skipping a meal or two, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Skipping meals can lead to you making unhealthy choices and overeating at a later meal. If your schedule is busy, plan ahead and pack a healthy snack so you don’t have an excuse.

Drink water

Colder weather and indulging in holiday party drinks can make us forget we still need to drink water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go to help remind you to stay hydrated.

Get creative

Instead of the usual calorie bombs we see during the holidays, experiment with healthier holiday favorites. Try to change recipes or ingredients for your favorite holiday dishes to make them healthier. Check out this recipe for a healthier spin on traditional Egg Nog.

Include fruits and veggies

Just because there are more sweet treats, comfort foods and fun holiday drinks, don’t forget about the fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories and good sources of vitamins and minerals that can help keep your immune system strong. When you hit the buffet table, try to load up at least half of your plate with colorful produce.

The holidays are a time to enjoy but they also shouldn’t be used as an excuse to totally derail your healthy habits and go overboard. Enjoy everything in moderation and you will be well on your way to a happy and healthy new year.

Question: What is your favorite holiday tradition?