Enjoy all the holidays have to offer while staying healthy and happy by following these nine tips.
1. Wash your hands.
Washing your hands is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Use warm water and soap, making sure to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Or, if it’s easier, sing “Happy Birthday” while you scrub.
2. Stay warm.
Cold temperatures can be harmful—especially for older adults and infants. Make sure everyone bundles up before heading outdoors!
3. Manage Stress
The holidays are full of excitement but can also be a time of stress for many. In the hustle and bustle of family gatherings and social functions, take time for yourself—read a book, do some yoga, hit the gym or squeeze in a nap.
4. Travel Safely
With winter weather comes icy, snow-covered roads. Avoid traveling when the weather service issues advisories. Also, prepare an emergency kit for your vehicle; you never know when you might need it. As always, buckle up, drive the speed limit and don’t drink and drive.
5. Safely Prepare and Handle Food
Before preparing any food, wash your hands with warm water and soap. Use a thermometer to ensure your food is fully cooked. If you need to thaw a turkey, do so safely: in a refrigerator, a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in a microwave. Avoid thawing any foods on the counter.
As tempting as raw cookie dough may be, don’t eat it. Dough and batter made with flour and eggs can contain harmful germs, including E. coli and Salmonella.
6. Eat healthy.
‘Tis the season of sweets, casseroles and grandma’s cooking. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the tastes of the season in a healthy way. Watch your portion sizes and limit your intake of fats, salt, sweets and alcohol.
7. Get check-ups and vaccinations.
If you haven’t scheduled your annual physical exam, now is a great time to do so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu vaccine every year. It’s especially important for high risk persons, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic conditions and those 65 years and older. To schedule an appointment to receive your flu shot, call our clinic at 507-794-3691.
8. Get enough rest.
Dinner parties, family gatherings, gift exchanges—your calendar is filling up by the minute! Be realistic about how much time and energy you have. It’s ok to say no. Or, if it works better for you, squeeze in a 20-30 minute nap before you head out the doors.
9. Stay Active
Schedule some time for physical activity. You’ll feel better and have more energy to tackle the holidays. Take a walk through the snow-covered park, do yoga in your living room, shovel the driveway or build a snowman with your kids.