5 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays
Marathon shopping excursions, dinners out, late-night parties and must-attend special events create scheduling chaos during the end-of-the year holidays and leave you vulnerable to getting run down and falling ill. Staying healthy during November and December and enjoying the holidays depends on following these simple tips.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that too little sleep can lead to loss of focus, unsafe driving, weight gain and higher risks for heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, rushing around during the holiday season cannot be allowed to cut into the time you need to rest and recharge.
Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Put scheduling those hours at the top of your day planning throughout the holidays. Limit the number of events you attend that keep you up late and do your best to stick to your regular patterns for when you go to bed and wake up. Also make sure your bed and bedding are up to snuff. Consider replacing worn-out pillows with new ones.
Every part of your body needs water to function properly. Even mild dehydration drains you of energy, leaving you tired and at risk for getting sick. One of the best healthy holiday ideas, then, is to stay hydrated throughout the long days and nights.
Drink at least one glass of water with each meal and sip water throughout the day. Men require a little more than three-quarters of a gallon of water each day. Women need between one-half and two-thirds of a gallon.
If your refrigerator does not have an indoor water dispenser, make you always have access to clean, cold water by keeping a water filtration pitcher filled.
Keep germs at bay
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.” When out holiday shopping, use disinfecting wipes to sanitize shopping cart handles, and don’t forget to wipe down armrests and tray tables when traveling by plane, train or bus.
Don’t skip workouts
Exercising helps reduce stress and can lessen holiday weight gain. Make time for a daily workout, even if that means just taking a brisk 15-minute walk at lunchtime. Treat yourself to a new pair of workout shoes as an incentive to maintain your exercise routine and keep moving throughout the day to burn extra calories. Park your car in the spot farthest away from store entrances, and take stairs instead of elevators and escalators.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Enjoy the full array of rich, holiday treats, but be sure to eat a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables. For example, eat one or two decorated sugar cookies, then indulge in a sweet, juicy orange. Better, substitute a crisp cucumber slice topped with roasted red pepper hummus for a handful of caramel corn.