Holiday Health Tips
The holidays are a time for fun, family and festivities – but they can also be a time for overindulgence and health risks. From eating too many sweets to drinking too much alcohol, it’s easy to let your guard down and end up feeling sick or worse. But don’t worry – with a bit of preparation, you can avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the holidays safely. Here we’ll talk about some tips to help you stay healthy this season. But before that, let’s take a quick look at the most frequent health issues that arise during holidays.
The most common health and fitness related concerns that occur during the holidays
Here’s a look at the most common health concerns that occur during the holidays and how to deal with them.
1. Heartburn and indigestion
Some holiday meals are more likely to cause heartburn, but everyone is at risk. Foods that are high in cholesterol (fats) or that have been heavily spiced are the main culprits of heartburn and indigestion.
2. Seasonal allergies
Seasonal allergies are likely to be especially bothersome during the holidays. If this is a problem, make sure you get enough sleep and exercise; drink plenty of fluids; and avoid potential allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander and mold. And remember: your antihistamines will only take care of symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes; other allergy medications should work on congestion too.
3. Colds and flu
Bacteria and viruses that cause colds and flu can spread around quickly in confined spaces like airplanes, offices and buses -- which often happens during the holidays when people travel more often for buying holiday presents, attending holiday parties or gatherings.
To avoid catching these common viruses: wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and eyes as much as possible; and get plenty of rest.
4. Fatigue and sleep deprivation
Low-quality sleep can make you more likely to catch a cold or the flu. Staying up late to finish holiday shopping or attending too many holiday parties can cause fatigue and make you tired. Make sure that you get adequate sleep during these holidays by getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, practicing good sleeping habits like preventing yourself from napping during the day and avoiding caffeine close to bedtime.
The holiday season is hectic with lots of things to prepare for: buying presents, planning family gatherings, decorating your house and so on. These activities can also lead to stress, which, in turn, may trigger asthma attacks, high blood pressure or an upset stomach. To avoid falling sick because of anxiety: set aside sometime each day for yourself to relax and de-stress, take breaks when you’re feeling overwhelmed and practice breathing exercises to calm down.
6. Depression and anxiety
The holiday season is also a time when people can feel down because of the colder weather, shorter days and all the hustle and bustle. For some, this may lead to depression or anxiety. If you’re feeling down, be sure to reach out to someone you trust for support and talk to your doctor if the feelings don’t go away.
7. Get vaccinated
It’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu, so be sure to get a flu shot if you haven’t done so already.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over six months old gets vaccinated against the flu every year. Vaccination is especially crucial for pregnant women, young children, people with chronic health conditions and those who care
8. Stress and weight gain
As a lot of us know, stress can cause weight gain and the holiday season is the time for parties and rich foods. The CDC also recommends that you maintain a healthy diet during the holidays to avoid gaining excess weight.
Moderate alcohol consumption is okay during the holidays, but overindulging can lead to a number of health problems like dehydration, low blood sugar, and even a hangover. In the long term, alcoholism may even affect the liver.
Smoking does not only do bad things to your lungs but, it’s also bad for your heart. If you’re trying to quit, the holidays can be a tough time, but it’s worth it in the long run. There is plenty of support and resources available to help you quit, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
11. Excessive caffeine consumption
Caffeine is a known, overused stimulant, and too much of it can lead to insomnia, restlessness, and an upset stomach. Be careful not to drink too much of it with coffee, tea, or energy drinks.
Holiday Health Tips
The holidays are a time for celebration, but they can also be a time for overindulgence. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy during the holiday season.
1. Avoid overindulging in food and alcohol.
It is easy to let your guard down and indulge in unhealthy foods during the holidays, but try to resist the temptation. Overeating can lead to weight gain, indigestion, and other health problems. And drinking too much alcohol can lead to liver damage, car accidents, and other health risks.
We all enjoy indulging in our favourite treats during the holiday season, but moderation is important. Try to stick to healthy snacks and meals as much as possible, and save the sweet and salty snacks for special occasions.
2. Stay active.
Even though the holidays are a time for relaxation, it’s still important to stay active. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day – whether it’s going for a walk, playing some holiday-themed games with your family, or attending a fitness class.
3. Get enough sleep.
It can be easy to stay up late socializing or watching movies during this holiday season. But sleeping too little can lead to fatigue, irritability, and other health problems.
Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. Get plenty of sleep to avoid feeling sluggish.
Have problem sleeping? Read our blog How to have a Restful and Deep Sleep to Remain Fit and Healthy, to read tips and tricks for getting enough sleep.
4. Plan ahead.
A lot of holiday gatherings are held in places where there aren’t any healthy food options or gyms nearby. Chrismas parties at restaurants, office celebrations at your aunt’s house, and holiday office picnics can make it very challenging to remain on track with your health. If you know that one of these events will be happening soon, plan what you’re going to eat ahead of time. It would be best if you also looked for ways to eat healthy foods – bring fresh cuts of fruits or salad, for example.
5. Pace yourself.
The holidays are a time to celebrate, but they can also be very stressful. It’s easy to get overwhelmed between shopping, cooking, cleaning, and getting ready for all of the events. When you feel stressed, it’s easy to lose track of your goals and grab whatever is easiest. Try to stick to your New Year resolutions by taking things one day at a time.
6. Get some exercise!
The holiday season can be very busy, but that doesn’t mean you should take the time off from exercising. Now is the time to take advantage of all your free time! Head out for a long walk with friends or family, go skating (weather permitting), or enjoy some good ol’ fashioned snowball fights! You can also try to multi-task and exercise while you take care of holiday errands. Here's some Simple Exercises to Try While Staying at Home, if you need quick and easy exercises at home.
7. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and healthy
If you are not drinking enough water, you may be at risk for dehydration. Signs include dry mouth, fatigue, and a decreased ability to focus or concentrate. Remember that caffeine and alcohol actually dehydrate you further. If practicing any of these holiday health tips isn’t enough to keep up your regular water intake throughout the day, consider investing in a reusable water bottle so you can conveniently sip on H2O all day long!
8. Keep your hands germ-free by washing them often with soap and water.
One of the best ways to avoid harbouring germs and getting sick during the holiday season is to wash your hands as often as you can, especially before you eat. Make sure to use soap and warm water, and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. You can also carry hand sanitizer with you for times when soap and water aren’t available.
9. Take time for yourself throughout the day.
Relax, meditate, or take a walk outside to clear your mind and lift your spirits. It’s also a good idea to play with your pets if you have any. A little bit of downtime can do wonders for your overall health and well-being.
10. Eat foods that will boost your immune system.
Eat foods that are high in Vitamin C, like oranges and strawberries, which will boost your immune system and help fight off any ills. Lemon water with a little bit of cayenne pepper will make you feel energized and refreshed in the morning.
Here's a link on our article titled Easy Ways To Boost Immune System Naturally for more tips in strengthening your immunity.
11. Eat smaller portions but more often.
You can prevent weight gain this holiday season by eating less food overall - without feeling hungry! How? Eat smaller portions at meals, but continue snacking with nutritious snacks like fruits and vegetables throughout the day. This will help balance and keep your metabolism going and your blood sugar stable.
12. Get plenty of rest
It is easy to get run down during the busy holiday season, but it’s important to make time for adequate rest. Most people need about at least six hours of sleep per night, so try to stick to a regular sleep regimen as much as possible. Taking a nap in the afternoon can also help recharge your batteries. Aim for at least 7 hours per night so you can feel refreshed and energized throughout the day.
13. Be mindful of your stress levels.
The holidays can be a very stressful time, but it’s important to find ways to manage your stress. Practices like yoga and meditation can help, as well as spending time with friends and family. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a few minutes to yourself to relax and de-stress.
14. Have fun!
The holidays are a time for celebration, so make sure to enjoy yourself! Eat your favourite foods (in moderation), attend parties and go shopping. Just be sure to balance out the fun with some healthy activities as well.
15. Follow your province or city’s isolation guidelines.
If you are not feeling well, call your physician and ask what to do next. Also, it is essential to follow your province or city’s isolation guidelines.
This might mean staying home and away from others until you are feeling better. You don’t want to risk spreading your illness to others.
Stay healthy and enjoy the season to its fullest!
The holidays can be a great time to relax and recharge your batteries. By following some or all of these tips, you can help yourself stay healthy and enjoy the season to its fullest! Just make sure that anything you do doesn’t go against your physician’s advice.