Tips for a Healthy Holiday

These are the last words that many of us want to hear, but the reality is that you can feel better and get a head start on that New Years resolution if you make a few small changes to your holiday celebrations. There’s no need to cut out all of the fun – enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a few cookies by the fire, by all means – but there are several ways to make sure you are taking care of yourself this holiday season. 

Stay Warm

Bunding up may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your body warm during these cold winter months will help prevent sickness. Wear a snug, light layer under your clothing to stay comfortable and keep in the heat. Layer your clothing from thinnest to thickest – that way you can remove layers throughout the day as needed. Wool, Gore-tex, goose down, and cashmere are all wonderful materials for keeping your body warm. Waterproof boots are also a wintertime essential to keep your feet dry from the snow. 

Eating Healthy 

This is definitely a suggestion that no one wants to hear – we know how tempting holiday cookies, potlucks, and parties can be. However, there are plenty of ways to keep your diet under control while still enjoying the culinary delights of the holiday season. For instance, eat a small snack before going to a holiday party so you’re not hitting the buffet on an empty stomach. Also, be sure to take a time-out before going back for seconds. This article from Harvard Health explains that your brain needs a few minutes to realize that you are full, so it’s important to pace yourself as to not overeat. Another simple tip is to swap out traditional holiday food with healthier alternatives. Check out the recipes below for some delicious and healthy holiday food!

Get Vaccinated

Its flu season! It’s important to protect yourself from this illness and get a flu vaccine every year. Anyone can get the flu, but the symptoms and lasting effects can be even more unpleasant as you get older. According to the Center for Disease Control, “people 65 years and older are at high risk of developing serious complications from the flu.” The CDC has also stated that during most flu seasons, around 80% of flu-related deaths and 50% of flu-related hospitalizations have occurred in this age group. Don’t wait to get your flu shot! Pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid all offer walk-in flu shot appointments and work with many insurance providers. Use this Flu Vaccine Finder from the CDC if you need help finding a clinic. 

Don’t Drink and Drive

This may seem like another obvious suggestion but, according to the US Department of Transportation, around 300 Americans die in accidents every year in the days surrounding Christmas and New Years. On average, 27 Americans die every day in December because of drunk-driving wrecks. Make sure you and your family make responsible decisions and keep the roads safe this holiday season. Take advantage of Lyft and Uber, or one of the many other ride-hailing services. See more statistics about drunk-driving during the holidays in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s graphic below:

Wash Your Hands

As simple as this is, it is essential that you wash your hands frequently and efficiently (all year long, but especially in the winter). Since the holiday season is also flu season, you want to make sure that your hands are squeaky clean. As cute as those grandkids are, there’s no telling what germs they’re carrying with them to your holiday celebration. As the phrase goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so try to wash your hands as often as possible throughout the season.

Make Your Home Accessible

Make sure your home is welcoming and safe for all of your friends and family this holiday season. If you are hosting anyone in your home who uses a wheelchair, power scooter, or walking aid, make sure they will have easy access into and around your home. Use a weatherproof ramp to make outdoor steps less of a hassle, and add small threshold ramps if your home has taller doorway thresholds. These ramps are easy to set up and will make a huge difference in the comfort of your guests this holiday season. Single-fold and threshold ramps are also incredibly convenient to store, so you can tuck them away until the next visit.

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