10 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

There’s lots to love about the holiday season. Preparing – and eating – large, elaborate meals and desserts, mingling with the holiday crowds, and spending time with friends and loved ones are just a few of the festivities that make the holidays so great. Of course, the same things that make the holidays so enjoyable can also get in the way of your health. So how do you stay healthy during the holidays?

The holiday season doesn’t have to be a vacation from good health. With a little effort and planning you can avoid the health pitfalls. Here are 10 tips to stay healthy during the holidays

Drink plenty of water

It’s important to stay hydrated even in the cooler winter months. Choose water rather than alcohol, soda, juice, etc. at your next holiday gathering.

Get a flu shot

The holiday season overlaps with flu season. People typically travel more, and spend more time around other people during this time of year. Flu vaccination is the most effective way to prevent flu outbreaks. Get your flu shot today.

Manage stress

Whether it’s hearing the same Christmas song 12 times in a day, butting heads with family members, or burning Thanksgiving dinner, stress can take a toll on your health. Stay healthy during the holidays, and keep the holidays fun by managing your stress.

Wash your hands often

Washing hands can help prevent sickness and prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands thoroughly, and wash your hands often.

Foodborne illness

48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness each year, according to the CDC. Thoroughly clean utensils, cook foods to recommended temperatures, and properly store perishable foods.

Make time for exercise

It’s easy to neglect physical activity during the holiday season. It’s cold outside, you have decorating and party planning to do, or maybe you’re busy visiting with relatives. Still, daily exercise is crucial for good health. Prioritize physical activity, and make time to be active.

Healthy holiday traditions

Consider taking up healthy holiday traditions. Go for a walk after Thanksgiving dinner. Plan an annual Black Friday hike. Throw a football in the back yard. Go for a group bike ride, or walk around the neighborhood and sing carols.

Make healthy food choices

Cook a healthy holiday menu, and fill your plate with healthy foods. Choose green beans instead of green bean casserole, and corn instead of candy corn. If you know that healthy dishes will be scarce at your family meal, bring a salad or a vegetable tray.

If you’re inclined to overeat around the holidays, determine how much food you’re comfortable eating before you start eating, and stop eating when you’re full.

Decorating safety

Accidents and injuries caused by decorating for the holidays are common. Be extra careful when dealing with roofs and ladders, and always keep an eye on young children.

Winter weather

Who doesn’t love a white Christmas? Fluffy snow is picturesque, but it can also create a health risk. Be mindful of road conditions, and watch for icy spots in parking lots and sidewalks when cold weather hits. Pay extra attention to weather forecasts if traveling to areas with winter weather.