One of the main priorities experts say can help you to stay healthy is to prioritize fighting off germs. Disinfectant wipes as well as hand washing can help with this. Keyboards are dirtier than toilets and can carry a lot of harmful bacteria like E. Coli. If you work in an office with shared equipment, it is important to keep it clean! It is also a great month for getting vaccines and doctor checkups to make sure you are clear of viruses. Working out and controlling portion sizes are great ways to stay healthy for the holidays, as well as any day.
Given the holidays have a lot of unhealthy and tempting foods, it is hard to say no. If you have a lot of leftovers, you can save some of them in your freezer for down the road. Holiday foods are packed with a lot of fat and calories. Research from the Calorie Control Council states that the average amount of calories in a standard holiday meal is 4,500! That’s more than double your daily intake. Maybe with that in mind, all those desserts, casseroles and gravy won’t be as tempting.
As for working out, it can be hard to find motivation. It is cold outside, and I find myself in the winter feeling more fatigued and tired than usual. Not everyone has access to a gym either. For the best minimal exercise, you could take the stairs instead of the elevator. Getting up to take breaks to walk around the complex or the office is another good way to stay active. Diet and drinking a lot of water helps to feel better as well. A short 15-minute walk here and there adds up in the long run. If you do have access to the gym, weights and cardio are a good way to build up muscle and lose fat. Any cardio throughout the day helps!
Another way to stay healthy during the holidays is to stay warm. Wear layers and if you have a heater, ensure it is working properly. Clean out fireplaces as well as chimneys and it never hurts to have a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector on hand.
If you decide to do a road trip somewhere colder, make sure you have all the proper materials for your car as well as an emergency kit. Being stranded in the snow could be a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. A typical emergency kit for the winter should include a flashlight, cell phone, food and water, blankets, first-aid kit as well as medicine, cat litter or sand for ice, batteries, and maybe winter tire chains.
For further information on more elaborate holiday health and safety, follow this link:
Happy holidays and safe travels!
Written by Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer