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Tips For Staying Healthy During Your Holidays Travel

In America and around the world, the magical holiday season is widely considered one of the best of times. However, if you get miserably sick, it could also be the worst of times, not only for you, but also for those around you. If you plan to travel to visit relatives, friends or loved ones during the holidays, you'll obviously want to feel at your best and look your best. Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy during your upcoming holiday travels.

Hand washing. (Thinkstock)Wash Your Hands Frequently

One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of getting sick while traveling is by washing your hands regularly. This is especially true over the holidays when its the flu season and public areas such as transportation hubs and department stores are far more crowded than usual. While frequent washing of your hands may seem excessive, the CDC describes this simple task as a "do-it-yourself vaccine" and lists a number of instances when you should wash your hands in order to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to people around you.

However, this list should also include washing your hands whenever possible in situations like using a handrail on an escalator, frequently used door handles, elevators or anything else that will be used by other people . It also helps to bring along a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent of alcohol to keep your hands clean when soap and water aren't available. However, sanitizers are not as effective at removing germs as washing your hands with soap and water.

sleep mask
Get Plenty Of Sleep

With numerous activities to enjoy and festive occasions to attend, it's not always easy to get enough sleep over the holidays. Still, getting a proper amount of rest and a full night's sleep can go a long ways in maintaining your health and in a better frame of mind. As a preventative measure, a good night's sleep can help strengthen your immune system, as well as relieve the stress and anxiety associated with the holidays.

On the other hand if you don't get enough sleep, you might find yourself more fatigued, less alert, perhaps less conversive and maybe even a little grumpy. While it may be difficult at times, try getting to bed at your normal time and do your best to avoid excessive amounts of sweets laden with sugar, caffeinated and or/sugary drinks and alcohol.

Cooked Turkey
Holiday Eating

With visions of sugar plums, coupled with the nearly obligatory presence of chocolate fudge, candy cane, hot buttered rum, pumpkin pie and more, it's important to watch what you eat over the holidays. Along with staying active, you can prevent the dreaded holiday weight gain by having more healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes, while limiting your intake of saturated fat, sodium and added sugars.

For instance, if you're a meat eater, try healthier food choices like turkey or chicken instead of beef and if you like sweets, choose fresh fruit over sweet desserts and pastries.

(credit: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Manage Your Holiday Drinking

For many travelers, a celebration with a holiday drink is a long-standing tradition. But if you plan to drink alcohol on your holiday visit, you should also remind yourself of the negative effects of alcohol on your health and when to call it a night. While the short-term and long-term health risks are well documented, nothing could be worse than having something terrible go wrong due to the overconsumption of alcohol, whether it's a family argument, saying something inappropriate or worse yet, have an alcohol-related auto accident.

Regardless if you're male or female, the bottom line is if you are going to drink during your holiday travels, you should do so responsibly and perhaps set a limit in advance of your first holiday spirits.

Stay Active

Having an exercise routine is essential year round in order to stay healthy. But staying active is perhaps never more essential than over the holidays. With the prospects of festive food and drink, you could experience holiday weight gain, potentially putting you in more of a health risk. In order to offset the possibility of adding a few extra pounds, try setting aside time to get some exercise, whether it's a walk outdoors with the family or doing more household chores indoors.

Depending upon your destination of choice, other forms of exercise could include skiing, ice skating, cycling or even swimming and surfing if you'll be near the ocean and expecting warm weather. Whatever activity you choose to do during your holiday travelers, you're likely to feel a whole lot better afterwards.


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