The holiday season can be the happiest time of year, but unfortunately, it’s also one of the worst times for our health. From cold and flu viruses to weather that keeps us indoors, there are many factors that can compromise our wellness. Fortunately, there’s also a lot you can do to keep the entire family healthy through the holidays and beyond. Here are a few tips to consider.

How to Enjoy Healthy Holidays with Your Family

Get Your Flu Shot

Being vaccinated is your family’s best line of defense against getting seriously ill from the flu this season. While no flu vaccine is 100% effective, even if you were to get sick with the flu, being vaccinated could help you avoid serious complications. Everyone over the age of six months is advised to get their flu shot, with very few exceptions. If you haven’t already done so, schedule a visit to get your whole family vaccinated.

Eat Well

Rich, holiday foods are meant to be enjoyed this time of year. But indulging too much can have adverse effects. While you don’t have to deprive yourself of any holiday favorites, prioritizing nutrient-rich options will keep you energized through the busy holiday season. 

When it’s time for festive meals, avoid going on an empty stomach. Reach for foods that have protein and complex carbohydrates to fill you up, such as apples and peanut butter or a low-fat yogurt with whole grain granola. Be sure to have plenty of veggie sides, too, as they’ll provide lots of fiber and vitamins.

Be Weather Wise

Bad weather can creep up quickly and make winter plans hazardous. Nearly a quarter of all weather-related motor vehicle accidents are caused by hazardous winter conditions such as snow, slush, or ice on roads. Driving on snow-covered or icy roads is dangerous for even the most experienced drivers. The same goes for outdoor hikes or other winter sports: issues like limited visibility and slippery conditions can make any outing dangerous. 

Always check the forecast before you go out this season. If there’s a chance of freezing rain, snow, or any other potentially hazardous conditions, don’t hesitate to reschedule.

Continue to Move

Don’t let limited sunlight and colder temperatures confine you to your couch. Even if your exercise routine looks a bit different this time of year, continue to move in a way that feels good. Regular physical activity can have short-term benefits, like boosting your mood and energy, while helping you stay on track with your health over the long term. If you can’t do your regular outdoor activities, try a video workout from home, a new fitness class at a local gym, or working out with indoor exercise equipment.

Plan Your Doctor’s Visits

Now is also the time to schedule any doctor’s visits for the new year. Consider whether you’re due for routine screenings or annual physicals. Keep in mind, however, that if you haven’t met your deductible or have a flexible spending account you need to use, going before the end of the year could help you save. And even if you can’t get an appointment before December 31st, you’ll start off next year on the right foot.

No matter the season, University Health Alliance is here to provide outstanding care that keeps the whole family healthy. Explore our full range of coordinated care services online or schedule an appointment by calling 762-356-4933.