STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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men dealing with alcohol abuse. During sessions with a health care provider,the client discusses his problem, habits and risk factors. The health care professional helps him set limits and develop coping skills, establishes support and offers further care if needed. Instead of total abstinence, the NIAAA recommends controlled drinking. Specialists are still looking at the idea of moderation for the person with AUD. They espouse it is healthier than going cold turnkey, does not lead to relapse as often and is more likely to fit the person’s lifestyle.


If you find yourself uncomfortable with your drinking, you probably need some form of treatment. It may include medications, counseling and support groups. Begin by talking to your health care provider.


Sources and Resources


•  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)

•  Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org)

•  Medline Plus (www.medlineplus.gov)

Here are a couple of important questions for men concerned about their health and wellness: Do you drink too much? Are you able to say “no” after having a few drinks?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 89,0000 deaths in the United States yearly. Men are more likely than women to drink to excess, and men have consistently higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women, according to the CDC.


The true alcoholic is generally unable to quit drinking once he gets started. In most cases, drinking directly affects his life in the form of lost friends, a marriage in tatters and/or a promising job decimated. The alcoholic may end up hitting rock bottom, but with proper help, he may be able to get past this difficult situation by practicing abstinence. This is the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). With AA, the alcoholic finds “understanding, strength and hope,” a non-judgmental support group and the spiritual means to get his life back on track.


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) describes a group of people with alcohol problems who are only moderate drinkers. They may have two or three drinks a day for years never really getting drunk, but they are unable to quit drinking. It may also take them years to come to realize

ALCOHOL HAS A PROFOUND EFFECT ON MEN’S HEALTH

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

they have an alcohol problem. Their drinking becomes more of a problem if they increase the amount of alcohol they imbibe. About 14 million Americans are affected by AUD; according to the literature, men are twice as likely as women to have it.


Research has shown a couple of drinks a day may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The benefits lessen when someone has more than that. Excessive drinking increases blood pressure, overtaxes the liver, damages the immune system, increases one’s risk of developing various cancers and, most insidiously, tangles the brain. The longer a person is exposed to alcohol, the more serious and life-threatening the damage.


“Long-term alcohol use shrinks grey matter in the areas of your brain that govern learning, memory, decision-making and social behavior,” said George Knob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).


The NIAAA recommends a type of treatment known as brief interventions for