Fitness Tips: December 18, 2017

Whether you're at the mall, at a party, or on a train or plane, you can stop yourself from getting sick and out of shape. Learn the easy ways to stay well all season long.

Beat germs, stay well
The holidays are one time of the year when you really want to feel your best. But they're also a minefield of health woes. There's a lot you can do to help your body weather the season. This is how to keep healthy – and merry – as you shop, travel, and celebrate.

Wipe away germs
Before you settle in for the flight (or train or bus ride), run disinfecting wipes over the armrests, the tray table and latch, the air vent, and your seatbelt buckle, and let air-dry. "Clean anything you might touch so you don't pick up germs that those who sat there before you left behind," says Amy Nichols, RN, director of infection control at University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

Stay hydrated
Staying well-hydrated keeps those mucous membranes moist so they can better keep germs out of our systems. Drink 8 ounces of water for every hour you're in the air. Yes, that probably means using the plane's lavatory (take your wipes!), but colds and flu are such monsters that you're better off drinking than going dry.

Wash your hands
Pack an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your purse, and use it regularly. Cold viruses tend to spread more from hand-to-mouth contact than through airborne droplets, making mall doors, escalator rails, elevator buttons, and ATM touch screens virus central.

Stay in, rest up
If you run yourself ragged and don't get a good night's sleep, you risk getting ill just because you've worn down your body's defenses," Dr. Leavey says. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who slept for less than seven.

Prevent overeating
We'd never tell you to pass up tasty holiday fare, but if you're feeling bloated after too many nights of baked Brie, try this simple party trick: Pop gum in your mouth 15 minutes before hitting the buffet table.
Keep the drinks to a minimum
Mulled wine. Eggnog. Pomegranate martinis. When you're at a party, try to limit yourself to two drinks and alternate them with glasses of water to avoid a hangover the morning after.

Dworkin-McDaniel, Norine (November 28, 2012). 10 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays Retrieved and adapted from: