Tips for a Healthy & Happy Holiday Season

December 1, 2016

Texas MedClinic wants you to stay healthy this holiday season! This is the time of year when germs are spread more rapidly through increased contact and travel, as temperatures drop and healthy eating isn’t always a priority in the midst of busy schedules. Physicians at Texas MedClinic urge prevention as the best way to protect against the variety of illnesses passed around throughout the holiday season and awareness to help avoid foodborne illnesses.

Since cooler weather sometimes encourages people to spend more time indoors, viruses can spread more easily. The tips below provided by Texas MedClinic are recommended year around, but especially as we move into the holiday season.

Eat a healthy diet. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts for fiber and protein. Hot soups like chicken soup or chowder help warm the body and fight diseases. Smoothies are an easy way to fill your tummy with fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the day when your schedule is chaotic. A well-balanced diet will help keep your body healthy and fight infection.

Take vitamins. An appropriate intake of vitamins and antioxidants help strengthen the body and ward off winter diseases.

Get sweaty, exercise daily, and drink plenty of water. Keep up your fitness routine or just aim to get outside more! Exercising helps warm the body and fight the negative effects of cold weather. Drink lots of water to replenish the liquids lost after exercising.

Maintain proper hygiene and keep your surroundings clean. Avoid cross contamination by cleaning and sanitizing common touch-points. Use safe but effective cleaning and sanitizing products. Avoid sharing utensils.

Destress when possible. Use the holidays as a retreat from everyday life. Get a little more sleep, take a long walk or do something you enjoy. Stress makes a big impact on our health, so working towards relaxation in the midst of the hustle and bustle could really benefit your overall health.

In addition to seasonal illnesses, each year, one in 10 Americans will have an illness caused by food. Foodborne illnesses, which are highly preventable, occur easily at large gatherings. The chance of suffering from a foodborne illness is naturally higher when food is taken away from the kitchen, especially in a casual atmosphere surrounding family or social gatherings.

Help stave off unwanted germs and bacteria that could potentially taint your food. Proper food handling is always important, so use common sense. 

Wash hands, surfaces and food before cooking. Make sure to keep hands clean to avoid cross contamination. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Rinse all fruits and veggies before serving.

Cook food thoroughly. Use a food thermometer, don’t just eyeball it! It’ll keep you and your guests safe and help you avoid over or undercooking prepared dishes.

Leftovers don’t have to make you sick. Discard any food after sitting out for more than two hours. When you reheat leftovers, make sure you cook them to the right temperature, about 140 to 165 degrees, before consuming.

Follow the old adage, “if in doubt, throw it out!” Holidays are fun. Don’t let rotten food spoil a good time. Enjoy the delicious food you’ve prepared as often as possible and throw out leftovers in a timely fashion.

Doctors at Texas MedClinic remind patients to continue routine hygiene practices, to wipe down germs and dust, to practice self-care with mild illness and to visit a clinic as soon as symptoms become moderately uncomfortable to prevent severe illness.

Happy holidays!

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