Brighten the holidays with these 12 healthy holiday tips from Yavapai Regional Medical Center and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These little nuggets of conventional wisdom may remind us of small things our mothers used to say, things we too often forget. But put into practice these tips really can improve both our health and happiness during the weeks surrounding the holidays.

  1. Be good to yourself. If you feel stressed out or overwhelmed by the holidays it is important to carve out a little time just for you. Because without enough sleep, human support and community interaction stress can indeed jeopardize your health.
  2. Remember the children. With all the activity going on it’s important to identify toys, food, drinks or other household items that may prove dangerous to kids. Also important are extra measures taken to protect them from accidents like drowning, burns and falls.
  3. Wash those hands. You can help combat germs by using lots of soap and rinsing hands under warm water for at least 20 seconds. This takes a serious bite out of those pesky, contagious bugs.
  4. Practice food safety. Remember to keep hands and surfaces clean, avoid cross-contamination, refrigerate foods promptly, and cook foods to proper temperature.
  5. Try to maintain a healthy weight. You can enjoy those holiday treats with less guilt by increasing your physical activity. It’s a matter of calories consumed vs. calories burned—and keeping consumed calories as nutritious as possible. So think more good calories, less bad calories like those found in fat, salt and sugar.
  6. Bundle up. When venturing out in the cold wear light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots. It will help you stay warm and dry, while also helping keep winter illnesses at bay.
  7. Buckle up for safety. Put on the seat belt, no matter how short the drive is, and ask the same of passengers. Also follow height, weight and age guidelines to properly secure children in car seats, booster seats and seat belts.
  8. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. Because to do otherwise puts everyone on the road in danger.
  9. Keep up with vaccines. Make sure everyone in the family is current on vaccinations, especially the annual flu vaccine, by paying a visit to your healthcare provider.
  10. Stay on top of exams and screenings. So along with vaccines, ask your healthcare provider about all the screenings and exams recommended for you and your family and whether they are up to date.
  11. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke as much as possible. Because cigarette smoke heightens health risks for everyone exposed.
  12. Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so keep an eye on stoves, fireplaces, space heaters and candles. Also have an emergency plan in place and make sure everyone is prepared to use it.

Please follow these tips and have a happy, healthy Holiday Season from YRMC!