4 tips to keep you and your loved ones healthy

Are you starting to feel that trickle in your throat? Cold chills? Lethargy? Yes, the holiday germs are here again. If the holiday season gives you anxiety from all the flu and cold germs floating around, you should embrace the following tips to stay healthy during the holidays. These recommendations will have you sharing cozy evenings with friends and family instead of searching for tissues and cold remedies.

1. Paper or Cloth Towels?

Everyone knowns it’s crucial to maintain excellent hygiene by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. And typically, environmental concerns dictate that we use cloth towels to save trees. But during cold and flu season, is this still the right choice?

When it’s only your family in the house – unless someone has the flu – do your part for the environment and choose reusable cloth hand towels. But if you’re the one throwing a holiday party, have enough small hand towels for everyone. It may leave a slightly bigger carbon footprint in the short term. However, by doing your part to avoid spreading germs, your friends and relatives may require less tissues for their noses this season. That’s not to mention how much more they’ll enjoy their holidays staying healthy

2. This is not the time to share

From when you were young, you were taught to share. But there are times when you shouldn’t. Take care to avoid sharing drinking glasses and other personal items.

If you’re the host of a party, make sure to include a serving utensil with every dish. This will ensure that people are spooning or forking out their food instead of using their hands. Help your guests keep track of their own glass with a Sharpie to mark their name on disposable cups. If it’s a more formal affair, consider purchasing window markers for glasses or reusable charms that fit around the stem of wine glasses. All these ideas will allow your guests to safely share conversation, laughter and the holiday spirit at your party.

3. Stay active during the holidays

If you stay active during the holidays, you’ll gain less weight throughout the years. Not only will this keep your pants from becoming too tight, but it will also help your body fight off illness.

A study found participants who stayed most active gained the least weight or even lost weight over the holidays.

According to the study’s principal investigator Dr Yanovski: “The finding that study volunteers reporting more physical activity had less holiday weight gain suggests that increasing physical activity may be an effective method for preventing weight gain during this high-risk time.”

Over time, the extra pounds add up. By staying active during the holidays you are more likely to continue that healthy habit into the new year.

4. If you’re sick, stay home

When you are sick, stay home as much as possible. It’s the best thing to do for you and everyone else. A compromised immune system means you can pick up other illnesses more easily. Instead, stay home, drink tea, sip hot soup and take your vitamins. It’s also important to rest and let your body heal itself. Don’t allow stress to prevent a quick recovery, and do your best to enjoy your forced time at home. Read the book you haven’t had time for or binge-watch the last season of your favorite show.

If you’re hosting a holiday event and someone in your household comes down with a cold or the flu, cancel or postpone your party. Even if you have a sick child you confine to their room, it doesn’t stop the germs from infecting those who enter your home. While it’s disappointing to cancel something you planned and worked hard to put together, it would be worse to give a nasty illness to your guests, one that would cause them to spend the rest of their holidays in their own beds.

Follow these healthy tips to help you and your loved ones avoid an illness this holiday season. Happy holidays!

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