The holidays are a busy time for many people. Between holiday shopping, baking, travel plans, and social gatherings, it’s easy to put your health on the back burner. The Premier Family Medicine Physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) encourage you to not only embrace the holiday spirit but also the spirit of good health this year.
Guidelines for staying healthy over the holidays
Enjoy the holiday season and take care of your health with these easy-to-follow tips:
- Get vaccinated
Schedule flu and COVID vaccines for your family today to help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Pfizer COVID vaccine authorization for all children ages 5 to 11.
- Bundle up outdoors
It can be tempting to forego your winter coat, gloves, hat, and boots if you’re just running to and from the car or picking up your kids from school, but it’s important to bundle up to prevent heat loss from the body, which helps keep your immune system healthy.
- Keep your hands clean
Prevent the spread of germs this flu season with frequent handwashing with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces
Prevent the spread of germs inside your home or office by regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces like light switches, door handles, faucets, toilet flushers, remote controls and, smartphones.
- Eat healthy foods
Choosing healthy options can be especially difficult during the holidays, but it’s important to fill your plate with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats to help boost your immune system and lower your risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes for foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar.
- Stay hydrated
Dehydration is common in winter because many people don’t realize how much liquid is leaving their bodies through sweat. The sensation of thirst is also less when it’s cold, so it’s important to keep track of your water intake to make sure you’re getting enough.
- Exercise regularly
Get at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week and encourage your children to be active for at least 1 hour per day. Regular exercise helps boost your immune system, helping you stay healthy throughout the winter season and beyond.
- Practice fire safety
Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Be mindful of fireplaces, space heaters, and unattended candles. It’s also a good idea to have a fire emergency plan and practice it with your family.
- Manage stress
We understand it’s easier said than done, especially during the holiday rush, but it’s so important to take time for mental and emotional health. Schedule time once a day to check in with yourself, whether that means meditating, walking, watching your favorite movie, or reading a good book. Do something every day that’s good for you and makes you happy.
- Get enough sleep
Pushing bedtime back to tackle your to-do list can be tempting but shortchanging your sleep can lead to cravings for less healthy foods and increase your risk for certain health risks like heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Adults should try to get between 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night.
- Get preventive exams and screenings
Stay on top of preventive health care exams and screenings. They can help doctors find, diagnose, and treat conditions like cancer and diabetes early before they become serious or life-threatening.
- Start a new healthy tradition, or two
Find new, healthy ways to connect with family and friends this holiday season. Try taking a walk after a big family dinner, playing a game of family football or tag in the backyard, taking a Black Friday hike, or going for a group bike ride around your neighborhood to admire the holiday decorations.
We hope everyone is staying healthy over the holidays! However, if you do suffer unexpected injuries or illnesses, the Premier Family Medicine Physicians at PVHC offer comprehensive medical and urgent care services including physical therapy, sports medicine, family medicine, women’s health, and more. Call 909-643-8874 or go to MyPVHC.com to learn more or schedule an appointment today.