Along with all that we have to look forward to during the holidays, there is also an increased level of stress and temptation that can make staying healthy difficult. To help you stay balanced throughout the festivities, we’ve outlined a few tips for a happy, healthy holiday.
Keep it clean
If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, be sure to add it to your list of things to do. Recent studies have shown that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by about 50% to 60% during flu season.1
Also, be sure to wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, as germs can be passed from person to person easily. If you are traveling it’s especially important to use a disinfectant wipe on anything someone else may have touched. Staying hydrated is also important if you are traveling, as moist airways are less susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Try to drink 8 ounces of water each hour.2,3
The holidays are a busy time and it’s easy to push off a workout because you are over-scheduled. Fitting a little exercise into your day will give you an energy boost, help you de-stress, and help you sleep better — all good things during the busy holiday season.4
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the festivities, but try not to let yourself get overwhelmed. Schedule a 15-minute chair massage while at the airport or mall while you are waiting for your flight or fitting in some last-minute shopping. Massages can lower stress levels and boost white blood cells, which protect against infections.2
Take some time to relax and be sure to get plenty of sleep. Studies have shown that those who get 8 hours of sleep are three times less likely to catch a cold than those who get 7 hours.2 So, go for a walk, read a book, meditate — have some YOU time and get to bed early.
Keep temptations at bay
‘Tis the season to be merry. With holiday parties seemingly every weekend and festive treats around every corner, temptation can be overwhelming. Keeping healthy snacks on hand such as nuts or low-fat string cheese will help you curb cravings and keep from overindulging.5
Similarly, it’s important to keep your alcohol intake in check. Be sure you have something to eat before imbibing and try mixing things up by having juice or flavored water as a healthy alternative.
Keep up to date
Whether you are traveling to visit family out of town or hosting at home, be sure to check your supply of prescriptions, over the counter medications and vitamins. Reach out to your pharmacist to review any questions you may have about your medications and make sure you have what you need before traveling.
Remember, the holidays are about spending time with family and friends. Taking time away from the holiday hustle will allow you to enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season.
Health Mart. Caring for you and about you.
- CDC: “Vaccine Effectiveness — How Well Does the Flu Vaccine Work?” Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm, Accessed November 14, 2016.
- Health: “10 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays.” Available at: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20648861,00.html, Accessed November 3, 2016.
- CDC: “Holiday Health and Safety Tips.” Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/, Accessed November 3, 2016.
- Mayo Clinic: “Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity.” Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389, Accessed November 14, 2016.
- Health Day: “Around the World, Holidays Bring Added Pounds.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161093.html, Accessed November 3, 2016.
Posted on Wed, November 30, 2016
by Alex McManus