Holiday traditions are always enjoyed among loved ones: caroling, baking cookies, crafting new ornaments for the tree … sniffling, sneezing, and gaining weight? Don’t let poor health become a holiday memory for your family. Stay healthy this winter season with these tips:
- Wash your hands. Shopping carts, toy stores, and public holiday events are breeding grounds for germs that make you sick. Stay clean and stay healthy.
- Plan nutritious recipes. A few careful substitutions can make traditional holiday cuisine low-fat, low-sodium, or low-cholesterol – without sacrificing taste.
- Soothe any holiday stress. Letting holiday stress get to you will compromise your immune system and encourage unhealthy eating habits. Schedule some “me time” amid all your holiday plans.
- Watch out for allergies. If someone in your household can’t stop sneezing or blowing his nose, he might be allergic to your Christmas tree or the candles you are burning.
- Get enough sleep. Busy holiday schedules don’t often leave time for the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep, but your physical and emotional health will demand it.
- Cut down on impulse snacking. Yes, sugar cookies and chocolate pies are everywhere this time of year. Save them for the occasional dessert, not a mid-afternoon snack.
- Prioritize an exercise routine. At minimum, you only need three 30-minute blocks of activity a week. Make time for it.
- Bundle up in cold weather. Even Florida cold fronts can bring out fevers and flu. If you’re heading outside, check the weather forecast to make sure you are properly dressed.
- Practice food safety in the kitchen. Holiday meals often feature several cooks around the stove. Don’t let the kitchen chaos confuse you. Undercooked meats or cross-contamination could have serious consequences.
If your stubborn winter cold isn’t letting up, or you suspect you have an undiagnosed allergy, the staff at St. Petersburg General Hospital can help. You can get a physician referral by calling our Consult-A-Nurse® hotline at (727) 341-4055. This free service is available 24/7, even on holidays