Healthy for the Holidays
What stands between you and good health at the holidays? Just an army of gingerbread men, a sea of eggnog and a whole lot of fruit cakes. Of course, staying healthy at the holidays means more than just going easy on the treats. Here are some health obstacles you might face at the holidays and what you can do about them.
Chilly weather: If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, the cold, dry winter air can be hard on your lungs. To help, keep your nose and mouth covered when you go outside. Use a humidifier inside your house. Also, try to steer clear of infections, which can worsen breathing.
Colds and the flu: Get your flu shot. Also get a pneumonia vaccine if you have not had one, or if your doctor recommends it. Wash your hands often and clean doorknobs to avoid spreading cold germs.
Cookies, cakes and candy—oh, my! Remember self-control is key. It’s okay to indulge a little. Try picking one treat instead of sampling them all. If you have diabetes, meal planning is particularly important. Remember these tips:
• Eat slowly: This will help you enjoy your food without overdoing it.
• Bring your own food: Bring a healthy dish so you have a healthy option.
• Exercise: Take a walk after you eat or before you go to the party.
• Don’t go back for seconds: Stick to healthy portions.
For those with diabetes, if you overdo it at the dinner table, the American Diabetes Association recommends you stop eating for the day, drink water, exercise and watch your blood sugar closely. Keeping a close eye on your health can get you back on track quickly.
Early nights: Make sure your house is well lit so you can avoid falls. It only costs pennies a day to keep an extra light on, but it can cost thousands to get a hip replaced. Also remove scatter rugs and clutter.
Alcohol: Sipping a glass of eggnog may be tempting, but moderation is key. See page 3 for healthy drinking tips.
Filed under: Healthy Living