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Medical Physician | Founder & CEO of PDP Health

3 Ways You Can Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

It’s not that easy to stay healthy over the holiday season. Cold weather isn’t exactly conducive to wanting to get some exercise, loads of carb- and cream-based holiday foods can make weight gain virtually inevitable, and the number of people staying indoors make it easy to spread germs. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. There are three easy ways you can protect your health over the winter holidays.

1. Make healthier choices.

Food takes center stage during the holidays, but feasting doesn’t have to mean eating loads of carbohydrates, desserts, and alcohol. Even though winter might not present you with the same variety of fresh foods as summer and autumn do, there are still plenty of fresh, seasonal options that can make the basis for holiday food without breaking your calorie budget. Chard, kale, leeks, parsnips, and Jerusalem artichokes, among others, are all cold-season crops that can be easily incorporated into holiday dishes (“What Fruits & Vegetables Are In Season During Winter?”). Also, make soups and sauces using broth instead of cream, and look for recipe substitutions to reduce the saturated fat and calorie impact of desserts.

2. Make small changes to your routine.

Even if you don’t have a gym membership and it’s too cold to work out outside, you can help maintain your health by making minor changes to your usual habits. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When watching television, use commercial breaks to do a few minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. When using a computer for long periods of time, set an alarm to remind you to get up and take a quick walk around the house every so often. These steps won’t take much time out of your day, and they’re much healthier than remaining sedentary.

3. Fight germs.

With people staying in buildings sealed up against the cold, viruses and bacteria proliferate. If you can, make sure your shots are up-to-date. Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your mouth and nose whenever possible. If you sneeze, cover it with a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Lastly, sanitize often-used items like keyboards, doorknobs, and telephones– they have a tendency to harbor a lot of germs (Hitti, “Clean That Computer Keyboard”).
Gaining weight and getting sick aren’t an immutable part of the holiday season. By being proactive, making healthy choices, and staying mindful about viruses and bacteria, you can help yourself avoid colds, the flu, and extra holiday pounds.
“What Fruits & Vegetables Are In Season During Winter?” Fruits and Veggies– More Matters,
Hitti, Miranda. “Clean That Computer Keyboard.” WebMD,