For many of us, this is the best time of the year. There are endless parties, presents, traveling, and lots of time with those we love. But there is a dark underbelly to the festivities, and if you’re not careful you could enter the new year feeling a little less “you.” Follow these pro tips for staying healthy during the holidays.
Be Wary of Traveling Germs
Traveling is all fun and games until somebody gets sick. Airplanes are giant germ incubators, so pack some sanitizing wipes for the flight. Be sure to wipe down the arm rests, air vents, tray, and latch. When using public transportation, you are coming into contact with any germs that those have traveled before you were carrying. The Univeristy of Arizona ran some studies, and they found the flu virus, and even MRSA, on airline tray tables.
The cabin air in airplanes is very dry, due to low humidity and high altitudes, creating a perfect environment in your airways for bacteria. Drinking lots of water can help counter the effect, by lubricating your mucous membranes. Drink 8 ounces of water every hour that you are in the air.
With the joy of the holidays comes high stress, so it’s important to take some time for you. Studies have shown that a single massage session lowers stress and boosts white blood cells, which are your bodies defense system. If you’re running yourself ragged, don’t be afraid to skip that party and spend the night in. Staying healthy is more important. The Archives of Internal Medicine did a study that found that those who sleep eight hours or more a night are three times less likely to get sick than those that sleep for seven hours or less.
All of the holiday hustle and bustle can lead you into a dark alley of the mall: the food court. Instead of giving in to hunger and temptation, try packing some healthy alternatives. Fruit, string cheese, granola bars, and nuts are easily portable snack substitutes. But malls aren’t the only places where temptation haunts. Holiday parties are full of delicious, diabolical, delicacies. Indulge! Allow yourself to enjoy the friendship and fellowship, and instead of abstaining altogether, simply take steps to ensure that you don’t overindulge. Chewing gum before a meal can trick your body in to thinking that you are eating, and it’s a great way to prevent overdoing it. You can also pop a mint in your mouth in between courses, giving yourself time to assess how full you are.
At Atlanta Medical Clinic, we offer nutritional therapy, weight loss programs, and wellness checks. So, if the holidays leave you feeling a little less (or maybe a little more) “you,” and you need help staying healthy, then call us for your free consultation!