Well, the holidays are officially here! This means that in the coming months, many of us will be traveling to gather with loved ones and celebrate! Aside from family and friends, if two things are synonymous with holiday festivities, they seem to be food and travel. Unfortunately, these two things can also be the greatest threats to our health.
No one wants to be sick over the holidays, and there’s nothing worse than having a cold caught in the airport spoil a visit with family.
Then there’s the food.
While holiday cookies make for tempting treats, a New Year’s Resolution to learn a new language or instrument is way more fun than trying to lose holiday weight you never had to gain in the first place!
So what can you do? Read on for some great ways to make sure you stay fit and healthy this holiday season!
How Avoid Getting Sick This Holiday
Tip 1: Stay Hydrated
While it seems obvious, staying hydrated is a huge part of combating illness, particularly that “airplane cold” we’ve all caught at one time or another. When your nasal cavities dry out, your natural defenses are significantly compromised, leaving you susceptible to all sorts of airborne pathogens, like the common cold. When you’re dehydrated, it also makes getting better more difficult, so even if you’ve already succumbed to the dreaded holiday cold, make sure you drink plenty of fluids!
Tip 2: Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Whether on the plane or in the airport, keep your hands to yourself! On a hard surface such as the cabin wall of an airplane, the flu virus can survive for up to twenty-four hours. In short, if you don’t have to touch something, don’t. Remember: a travel bottle of hand sanitizer coupled with frequent hand washing can go a long way towards protecting your health!
Tip 3: Supplement
Supplements can be one of your best friends when combating or preventing the common cold and other ailments. Supplements like Emergen-C and Counterattack have large doses of vitamin C to prevent illness, making them great pre-travel choices. Vitamin D3 is another great way to boost your immune system, particularly as the days get shorter and the natural vitamin D produced when you’re out in the sunshine fades. Make sure you take Vitamin D3 specifically. It’s the best for your body.
Other supplements, such as Oscillococcinum, work as holistic remedies to reduce the length of time you’re sick once a cold has struck. Another great addition to your diet is a probiotic. Probiotics maintain an essential balance of healthy bacteria in the gut—one of the most important lines of defense against illness!
Make sure you talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any regular supplementation.
How to Avoid Holiday Weight
Tip 1: Try Substituting Ingredients with Healthier Options
Things like unrefined flours for their refined counterparts might not save you a ton of calories, but making the changes will be better for you in the long run. Opting for flour made from whole wheat—or even rice, coconut and almond flours—allows you to add complex carbohydrates to your diet, meaning that dinner roll you ate will give you longer-lasting, steady energy, making you less likely to eat two.
Tip 2: Smaller Plates and Portions
Whether in the buffet line or around the dinner table, it’s often tempting to fill our plates around the holidays. With such abundance, it can be hard to say “no.” One way to trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more than you are is by choosing a smaller plate and limiting the amount of space to pile on food. This way, your mind says “feast” while your body says “just right.”
Tip 3: Go Easy on the Libations
While a glass of wine or two isn’t the end of the world, holiday alcohol consumption can be a real problem, particularly for your waistline. One average beer is the direct equivalent to seven slices of bread! By cutting down on your celebratory drinking over the holidays, you can ensure that all those extra carbs won’t come back to haunt you in the New Year! (Plus, you’ll avoid any nasty holiday hangovers and save face at the Christmas office party.)
So there you have it: six quick, easy and effective tips to stay well over the holidays and head into 2016 healthy and happy! Check back with us next month for our latest blog post and like our page on Facebook for new and exciting articles updated regularly!
Yours in Health,