Keep your family healthy through the holidays

Tuesday December 11, 2012 1:59 PM

The holiday season is upon us once again, and with it comes the season's notoriously hectic pace. With crowded social calendars and the stress of holiday shopping, it's easy to feel overwhelmed once the season hits full swing.

Unfortunately, many people have trouble staying healthy through the hectic holiday season. With so much to do, it's easy to put health on the back burner during the holidays. But however hectic the holiday season can be, there are ways to keep the family happy and healthy this holiday season.

* Encourage kids to wash their hands. Germs are often spread most quickly through our hands, which are in constant contact with hotbeds for germs, including doorknobs. While adults might be quick to wash their hands after they sneeze or cough, kids are often lax in the hand washing department. But washing hands thoroughly is an effective way to ward off winter germs that attach to hands after we sneeze, cough or simply touch a doorknob. Encourage kids to be diligent about washing their hands, not only after they use the restroom but whenever they sneeze, cough or arrive home from school.

* Circulate indoor air. Stagnant air indoors can also increase the liklihood of cold and flu. Central heating can dry the body out and lead to dehydration, making it harder for the body to flush out poisons and germs during the winter months.

* Get outdoors. Even if the weather outside is frightful, it can be beneficial to spend some time outdoors during the winter months. While it's best to obey the local weather authority and advisories, if there's no restrictions on spending time outdoors, getting outside can help the body fend off cold and flu. Because few people spend time outdoors in the winter, germs can gather inside and circulate among those who spend significant time indoors. As a result, those who spend all their time indoors are more vulnerable to cold and flu. When possible, bundle up and spend some time outdoors in the fresh air.

* Squeeze in some daily exercise. While the holiday season is certainly hectic, adults and kids alike should still find time to fit in daily exercise. Kids might get their daily dose in gym class, but adults need to make time as well. Exercise can prove a great means to relieving holiday stress, and a body that's strong and fit will be prove more capable of defending itself against airborne germs and bacteria.
 

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