It’s that time of year again when everyone is on the go preparing for the holiday season. When we are especially busy, it’s easy to neglect some key factors that will keep our immune system strong during this already hectic time.
- Increase your water intake – It’s important to drink lots of water as a general rule of thumb, however, increasing your intake helps flush out the body, supports controlling calories and can serve as a fatigue buster.
- Wash your hands – This is one of the easiest and most important steps to staying healthy. Washing your hands frequently will help you from getting sick and prevents spreading germs to others. Remember to always wash your hands immediately before eating.
- Eat well – With all of the extra sweet and savory treats around, it’s easy to slip into a food slump if you’re not careful. The average adult gains between 5-10 pounds this time of year. Be careful not to let extra consumption slide the scales. And stick to lots of food that has high nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables and proteins, which keep you healthy and well! A helpful tip is to always start your meal with healthier foods. A bite of high-fat, salty or sweet food will block your taste buds from appreciating the delicate flavors in veggies. Eating healthy foods first (when hungry), then high-calorie foods at the end, will greatly reduce your cravings and consumption of high-calorie foods.
- Get some exercise – Along with those increased endorphins to improve you mood, 20 minutes of exercise can give you an increased level of energy. Lots of exercises are available without the need for a gym such as a quick jog, jumping jacks, push-ups or holding a plank.
- Mindfulness – Everyone during the season already has a slightly elevated level of stress. Once you feel your stress level start to increase, take a moment to be mindful of how your emotions are getting elevated, take ten deep breaths and possibly a five-minute break to reset. Remember to focus on what you are thankful for and what is going well in your life. Remember, these tips are important to include in life year-round, but being extra mindful will help stay healthy and happy throughout this holiday season.
Reviewed by Courtney Mull, MD, Medical Director, Advanced Access – Mission Health; Mission My Care Now.