How to Stay Healthy for the Holidays [VIDEO]
Germs are everywhere. This is no surprise, but there are a few things you can do to combat the germs and stay healthy so you aren't down for the count for that party or celebration.
If you're traveling for Christmas or over winter break, you're going to be packed into a pressurized tube with 200 other people and if one person sneezes, those germs hang around in the cabin for you to breathe in. They also land on surfaces you touch. Keep some Clorox wipes in your bag and when you get to your seat, wipe down your arm rests, the seat belt and buckle as well as the call button, air vent and especially the tray table. Also keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse and before you dive into that mid flight snack, don't forget to use it. The Minnesota Department of Health says that the number one way we get sick is hand to mouth contact and food is the main vehicle carrying those germs and bacteria. Airplane air is also super dry so it's also important to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you're in the air.
Speaking of drinking, you should drink lots of liquids, but those "liquids" shouldn't consist of gin, vodka and rum. If you're going to have a cup of cheer or two, keep it to two or three and it's important to space them out and drink a glass of water in between. Not only does drinking water prevent you from getting completely hammered (especially at the company Christmas party), it also prevents you from an unbelievable hangover the day after. It's also a good idea to have something in your stomach prior to drinking. My no fail hangover preventer is Gatorade and some ibuprofen before you hit the hay. It may not totally prevent a hangover, but it definitely lessens the blow.
If you're headed to the mall to do some shopping, it's important to take a few moments to de-stress. Don't walk past that massage kiosk. Stop for a rubdown. A study done by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that a single massage session can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and it also boosts white blood cells. Both of which can prevent you from getting sick. Even if you only have ten minutes, some massage is better than no massage at all. I think that's a good rule to live by. Resist the urge to go into the mall chocolate shop and get a truffle, bon bon or piece of fudge. Walking around the mall is great exercise, so don't undo it by eating treats. Instead, pack and apple and some nuts. If you're having a snack attack, eat that.
If you're not into the whole being outside when it's cold thing, it's a really good idea to stay inside. Shopping, parties, wrapping presents and not eating properly can all lead to you not getting a good night's sleep. Dr. Marc Leavey of Lutherville Personal Physicians says that if you burn the candle at both ends, you're at a higher risk of getting sick. So don't feel like the Grinch if you skip the party because you're tired. You're being smart. Getting a good night's sleep of seven to eight hours should be seen as "preventative medicine."
Another thing I found works wonders is the neti pot. It's not the prettiest or most comfortable thing you're going to do every day, but it works wonders. You have hairs in your nose that are coated with anti-bacterial stuff and with the dry air, the hairs lose their anti bacterial properties, so it's important to keep them wet and that's what the neti pot does. Even if you're sick right now, the neti pot can help get that yucky stuff out of your body.