-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Nov. 28, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Flu shot, check.
Hand soap, check. Window washer fluid, check.
Staying healthy and safe this holiday season requires adhering
to a simple checklist, one expert says.
One way to avoid colds and flu is to wash your hands, said Dr.
Sampson Davis, an emergency medicine doctor at St. Michael's
Medical Center in Newark, N.J.
"Hand washing goes a tremendous way in preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses that live and thrive in the cold weather," Davis said in a news release. "I have escaped many sick days with a hand wash. It is the number one most important act to prevent contagious illnesses."
For those times when a sink isn't available, carry a small
bottle of hand sanitizer, he suggests. "Also, if sick, make sure to
sneeze and cough into your arm right by your elbow. This too will
help prevent the spread of germs," he said. "And lastly, make sure
to visit your physician, employment health center or local pharmacy
for your yearly flu shot."
Eating is a big part of the holidays, but you need to keep it
under control. Overindulging can lead to weight gain and other
health problems. You also need to be careful about your alcohol
consumption. One trick is to have a glass of water between drinks,
It's important to maintain your exercise routine over the
holidays. Gaining a few ounces a day can add up to too many extra
pounds by the end of the winter.
If you're planning a car trip, monitor the weather and avoid
snow storms. Make sure you gas tank is full, check your tires, and
top off all your engine fluids, including the window washer fluid.
Be sure to have a fully charged cell phone in case you have an
unexpected car problem and need to call for assistance, Davis
You also need to manage your stress.
"The holiday season, job deadlines and daily duties can overload the hard drive," Davis added. "Shop early, plan ahead and manage your calendar as well as your friends and family expectations. You may not be able to attend every holiday party and that is okay."
During the winter, some people suffer a mood problem called
seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you believe you have the
condition, see your doctor. There are effective treatments
available, Davis added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
health and safety tips.
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