6 Healthy Holiday Tips
The holiday season is considered the most wonderful time of year—but it’s also the season of sky-high stress, overeating, excessive drinking and falling off your exercise routine.
Here are some simple steps for staying healthy during the holidays.
Wash your hands—often!
About 80% of infections are transmitted by touch. The CDC estimates that up to 49,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year. Hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. You can spread some germs from touching another person, and you can catch a cold or other infection by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching your face (mouth, eyes and nose).
The holidays are considered the giving season, but make time to take care of yourself too. Treat yourself and relieve stress with a massage, manicure, or simply enjoy a few days rest. Take the time to do the things that make you happy.
University of South Carolina researchers found that men who were moderately active for 3 hours a day (the equivalent of walking briskly, climbing stairs, or playing tennis) were 35% less likely to catch a cold compared with more sedentary men. This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym for 3 hours straight. Any movement counts so take walking breaks, go out dancing, or enjoy a yoga class – anything that gets you moving counts toward your activity goals.
Lose Liquid Calories
Wine, mixed drinks, egg nog, caramel lattes, hot chocolate can add hundreds of calories to your daily intake. One way to keep pounds down is to make a commitment to skip the high calorie drinks and opt instead for unsweetened teas, no calorie colas, and water. As for beer, wine or liquor, have a drink and celebrate the season, but keep alcoholic beverages in check (1-2 per day for women).
Get plenty of zzz’s
Getting a good night’s sleep can be one of your best defenses against getting sick anytime of year. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who snoozed for less than seven. You’re not being a Grinch by skipping a party when you feel worn-down; you’re being smart. Think of it as preventive medicine.
Make moderation your mantra
Focus on being aware of your choices, because you don’t want to feel like you restricted and missed out, but you don’t want to feel like you indulged in something that wasn’t worth it!
Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!