This year, why not put your own health and peace of mind at the top of your list of holiday gift giving? Commence the season by being good to yourself. You will see and feel the difference and others will benefit from the joyous transformation in you! Here’s my list of top suggestions for 2017-18!

Quit being a slave to poor eating habits. Implement and maintain a well- rounded and efficient nutritional program that will support your lifestyle and activity level.  Never skip breakfast and watch what you eat during the day! By regularly eating complex carbs and lean protein sources soon after you get up, you may be able to avoid overeating at lunch, supper and before you go to bed (which is the absolute worst time to snack!). Eating 4 or 5 smaller meals every two to three hours after breakfast boosts your metabolism, helps you burn fat, and fuels your workouts.

Simplify your lifestyle. Begin this holiday season by taking control and you’ll find that 2018 will be less draining and stressful. Evaluate your schedule and weed out those unnecessary social obligations which make you miserable. As you map out your holiday social calendar, schedule your gym time as a crucial part of your days. Plan nutritious meals and bring food to work with you. Take low calorie veggie trays and other healthy dishes to holiday parties so that you’ll have something to eat while others are carelessly imbibing. If you start eating healthy now, it will be easier to follow that course in the new year!

If you have emotional baggage concerning family or other significant relationships, the yuletide season is sure to cause you heartache. Stress at work, family squabbles, increased expectations from friends and loved ones, holiday depression and loneliness can all be compounded at this time. Why not use these next few weeks to reach out and mend broken ties? Sometimes all it takes is you to make the first move to heal a friendship or bring a dear one back into your circle of friends. Find a good friend to talk to, listen to relaxing music, get a massage, go to the gym, in short, implement healthy outlets for your inner angst.

Take advantage of the holidays to break bad habits and start new ones. Never drink and drive. If you are a designated driver, take your responsibilities seriously and keep an eye on the others in your charge.  Drinking can worsen the anxiety and depression you may already feel during this time, so why not give it up and replace it with other outlets. Take walks on the beach with a friend, enroll in a class, take up yoga, meet new people, foster new interests!

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Tom Bonanti is a personal trainer and licensed massage therapist (MA40288) with his own one on one training studio in Ft. Lauderdale www.pumpnincgym.com. Contact Tom with questions regarding fitness and nutrition trainertomb@aol.com or call to schedule a free fitness intake massage (954) 557-1119.