6 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on December 16, 2015

6 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season

6 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season

How to stay healthy and happy
this holiday season.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for family and friends, good food and fun celebrations. But it’s also a great time for the stresses of the season to creep up on you. When you’re stressed out and run down, the possibility of getting sick increases – and that can put a damper on what is supposed to be a joyous season.

Here are six ways to stay healthy during so you can enjoy the holiday season.

1. Wash Your Hands

This may seem obvious, but it’s still important to note. Washing your hands is still the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Washing with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds will kill most of the germs that get people sick.

You should wash your hands before eating, before and after preparing food, before and after caring for someone who is sick, after using the bathroom, touching pet food or treats, coughing or sneezing.

2. Get a Flu Shot

It’s not too late to protect yourself against the flu, which can knock you out of commission with severe symptoms for two to three days. Peak season runs from November to February, which means there is still plenty of time to get the vaccine.

The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months or older, especially people with weakened immune systems or the elderly. Even if you’re a healthy adult, you should get a flu shot to protect yourself and those around you.

3. Get Plenty of Rest

The holiday season can be exciting and exhausting at the same time. You’re likely taking part in social gatherings at work and with friends, spending more time preparing food, braving the crowds at shopping malls and you may be wrapping up projects or working quickly toward end-of-year goals at work.

During this time it’s important to get enough rest so you don’t feel run down. Try to maintain your schedule and get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep during the holidays to give your body time to recuperate.

4. Curb Drinking and Overeating

For many, the best part about the holidays is gathering with family and friends to eat and drink. But be mindful of what you’re putting into your body. It’s perfectly okay to indulge a little bit during the holidays, but eating too many cookies, cakes and desserts or a lot of appetizers can make you feel lethargic. Try loading up on fruits and veggies first before anything else.

It’s also important to set limits to drinking alcohol during this festive time. Enjoy a cocktail or two, but consider the empty calories you’re consuming and the side effects of too much alcohol.

5. Stay Hydrated

You may be on the run during the holidays, which means it’s easy to divert from your normal healthy eating habits. During these demanding weeks, stay hydrated to feel healthy. Drinking enough water will keep you alert and help to flush your body of the more indulgent foods you’re eating.

One approach is to try drinking a glass of water before and during every meal to stay hydrated and help to balance your body. Remember, the goal is “eight by eight” “– eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.

6. Keep Exercising

Though your schedule may be full and the weather may be less than ideal for outdoor activity, it’s still important to keep moving during the holidays. Try sticking to your normal workout routine, but if you can’t, there are other ways you can exercise while accomplishing other tasks.

Above all else, during the holidays it’s crucial to listen to your body. If you feel worn out or like you may be getting ill, take some time to rest. It’ll make for a better holiday season.

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