Tips For A Healthy Holiday

June 21st, 2013 by Victoria Racimo

Tips For A Healthy Holiday

The holiday season can wreak havoc on even the most organized of households. With all the things we have to do, and only a few weeks to accomplish it all, our stress levels rise rapidly, tiring us and wearing down our bodies. In addition, the months of November and December usually bring colder weather and an increase in illnesses. Seasonal flu usually begins spreading during these months, and with all the germs floating around, it’s enough to challenge the wellness of even the most robust individuals.

Of course, none of us wants to live in a bubble simply to avoid getting sick; however, it is possible to enjoy our holiday activities while still reducing our chances of becoming ill. To that end, we’ve got a few helpful tips that will help you manage both a festive and a healthy holiday season.

Shopping:
When you’re out and about shopping, be aware of those around you. If possible, carry your own pen for signing receipts, and use elbows or knuckles for pushing buttons on elevators. Make share here sure you wash your hands regularly and carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer for those times when a sink isn’t nearby. Keeping a pump of hand sanitizer in your car door compartment is a great way to remember to sanitize after each store visit. Many stores are now offering sanitizing wipes at the front entrances for use in wiping off the handle of your shopping cart. Take advantage of these when they’re available, and carry some of your own wipes to use when they are not. Other uses for sanitizing wipes include cleaning off high chairs for your child and wiping down the tabletops at fast food restaurants.

Meals:
During this busy time of year, it’s easy to fall into a rut of Christmas cookies and takeout for dinner, but all this unhealthy food can weaken your immune system. The easiest way to ensure your family is eating well is to create a meal plan at the beginning of each week. Pre-made favorites like rotisserie chickens from the supermarket deli are a great choice because they’re fast, nutritious, and they usually leave some leftover meat that can be used the next night in a casserole or sandwiches. If you’re too busy to cook at night after work, consider cooking on the weekends. Prepare one or two casseroles that can be frozen and then heated up when they’re needed. A large pot of soup can be prepared in advance and then frozen into smaller portions for lunches and quick meals on the go.

Don’t forget to provide some healthy snack foods, too. Prepare serving sized bags of dried fruit and nuts, carrots and celery stick, and pretzels. Have yogurt, apples, and oranges on hand for quick snacks, too. Posting a list of available snack items on the refrigerator makes it easy for family members to choose a healthy item when they have the munchies.

Rest and Relaxation:
In addition to healthy eating, it’s also important to stay well rested and continue your regular exercise regimen, if you have one. You should strive to get 8 hours of sleep every night, and remember that children need even more than this. To get some fresh air and exercise, plan a family activity like sledding, cross country skiing, or perhaps just an evening walk through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights or do some caroling. Remember to stay hydrated during activities with water and fruit juices. Some good forms of relaxation might include a hot bath, cup of tea or hot chocolate, or simply reading a book or magazine before bed.

While you can’t prevent every illness during the holiday months, these simple tips will minimize your chances of getting sick, and will also help you get through the season feeling a little less stressed.

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