For many, the holiday season is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. However, the chaotic schedules and stress that come with it can have serious impacts on our health. Unfortunately, many of our schedules and habits are working hard to weaken our immune system and make us sick. The chaotic nature of the season leaves us little time to focus on ourselves, or our health. It is always important to put health first, with an emphasis on exercising and eating properly. As we shy away from our diets and resort to unhealthy foods, so begins a cycle of unhealthy habits that can be hard to break. Here are a few simple tips for staying healthy during the holidays.
1. Watch what you eat.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that the holidays can add a couple inches to your waistline. Between the holiday meals and decadent deserts it is common to put on some extra weight this time of year. Eating healthy during the holidays is difficult! Deserts and other sweets contain high levels of sugar which negatively affect your immune system, reducing your bodies ability to fight off illness and disease. In a recent study, the CDC found only 9% of all Americans are eating the daily recommended amount of vegetables, and only 12% are eating the recommended amount of fruit. Make it a priority to eat healthy when you can, your body will thank you for it!
2. Drink Water and Stay Hydrated.
Staying hydrated is always important, especially in the winter months to avoid illness, as bacteria and viruses thrive in dry, cool conditions. Do not allow your body to be a breeding ground for illness! At night, try sleeping with a humidifier to add moisture to the air. More importantly, be sure to drink plenty of water (health officials suggest about 8 glasses per day). The physical and mental health benefits of drinking water are often overlooked!
Additionally, it is common this time of year for people to attend parties, stay out later, and consume more alcohol. For these reasons, it is even more important to replenish your body, as dehydration can be the cause for many common conditions you want to avoid (headaches, fatigue, etc.).
3. Stay Active.
Staying fit during the holidays can also be a challenge. Whether it is due to a hectic work schedule or the cold weather, people tend to spend far more time inside during the winter months. This lack of activity and limited exposure to sunlight can lead to a weakened immune system. Try some at home exercises, or head out to the gym for a full-body workout. Staying active will help fight off illness, improve your energy levels, help you sleep, and boost your overall level of happiness.
4. Stop the Spread of Germs.
Avoiding germs is one of the best ways to stay healthy. For starters, wash your hands more often. This will greatly reduce the risk of getting sick. In addition to washing your hands, wipe down any surface that someone else may have touched or used before you. This is especially important while traveling (airports, planes, buses, etc.). Always be sure to carry hand sanitizer with you as well.
Using these tips as a guide will help you to stay healthy through the colder winter months. You want to feel your best while spending time with family and friends, so take control of your health this year and make it a priority. From all of us at TRP, we hope everyone has a happy and (very) healthy holiday season!