Groups of friends holiday shopping

6 ways to stay healthy this holiday season

The holiday season is great for seeing friends and families, eating delicious food, and sharing germs.

Here are six tips to help you ward off colds and the flu this holiday season:

Sleep.
Depriving yourself of sleep wears down your immune system, and makes you more susceptible to catching an illness. Make sure you get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. 

Wash your hands.
You touch a lot of surfaces that harbor germs and your hands act like a vehicle for those germs to enter your body. Washing your hands with old fashioned soap and water will get rid of these germs. Use hand sanitizer as a last resort.

Avoid kissing people that are, or have been sick.
You probably haven’t seen some of your relatives since last Christmas, but spreading germs is no way to spread love. Instead of a smooch, go for a hug or handshake. 

Relieve stress.
Constant stress can wear you down, and also weaken your immune system. Take some time for yourself, and relax. Try yoga, listening to music, or walk around the neighborhood - whatever makes you happy.

Stay active.
Physical activity can boost your immune system. This also factors in to stress relief! Don't spend the entire holiday season on the coach. Try walking, sledding, ice skating and other seasonal activities.

Eat healthy meals and drink water.
Try to eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Plan your meals weekly, so when things get hectic, you won’t get stuck eating fast food on the run. One meal (like Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner) won’t ruin your entire diet, but eating junk for weeks straight will.