As busy and exciting as the holiday season can be, this time of year can also be stressful; so it’s especially important to pay close attention to your health and to take steps to ensure that you stay healthy and happy as you shop, travel, and celebrate.
As little as 10 to 15 minutes of exercise a day can help. Take a walk after dinner. Do active chores around the house. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Experts recommend that you wear a pedometer (eg, Fitbit). New research suggests that wearing a pedometer encourages people to walk at least an extra mile each day, lose weight, and lower their blood pressure. An ideal goal is at least 10,000 steps per day and 30 minutes of brisk walking.
Take your resolutions seriously
Common resolutions are to exercise regularly, eat well, and give up smoking and other bad habits. According to the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, following such basic rules can cut heart disease risk by 80%, diabetes risk by 90%, and cancer risk by 50%.
Research shows that people who sleep at least eight hours a night were three times less likely to catch a cold than those who slept for less than seven. Adequate sleep also decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease and boosts your memory.
Try not to overeat
Experts suggest that you eat what you love, leave what you like. Also, if you chew gum or eat a mint before a big meal, it tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating, so you may eat less.
Water should always be the first thing you reach for when you’re thirsty. Drinking water relieves fatigue, improves mood, helps headaches, aids in digestion, helps with weight loss, and maximizes energy level and brain function.
Take time for yourself
Set aside 20 minutes every day to do something that makes you happy. Taking time for yourself can help you minimize stress and increase your happiness.
Wipe away germs
If you’re traveling over the holidays, clean anything you might touch so you don’t pick up germs. Experts recommend that you run disinfecting wipes over armrests, tray table, air vents, seatbelt buckle, remote control, door handles, etc.
Avoid smoking and breathing second-hand smoke. If you smoke, quit today! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or talk to your doctor.
Exams and screenings can help find potential problems early, when the chances for treatment and cure are often better. Also, make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Schedule a visit with your doctor today.
Injuries can happen anywhere, and some often occur around the holidays. Use step stools instead of climbing on furniture when hanging decorations. Keep candles away from children, pets, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test them once a month, and replace batteries twice a year.