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The Best 8 Tips to Stay Healthy This Season

The holidays have arrived — but the 2020 season promises to be like none other. With the threat of COVID-19 added to the cold and flu season, you’re wise to do whatever possible to decrease your health risks. 

The Best 8 Tips to Stay Healthy This Season

What can you do to minimize your chances of spending Christmas day bundled up in blankets, sipping chicken broth and going through tissues by the gross? Here are the best eight tips to stay healthy this season.  

1. Keep Your Body Moving

Did you know that you mobilize billions of immune cells each time you exercise, including those responsible for recognizing and killing off virus-infected ones? Plus, when you pump yourself up, they get ripped, too — and they flood your bloodstream looking for a fight with any nasty germ that crosses their path. 

Therefore, one of the best tips to stay healthy this holiday season is to keep moving. However, what if you don’t have time to hit the gym between partying and shopping for last-minute gifts?

Remember, any vigorous activity counts. Take extra laps at the mall if you decide you’ve had enough of shopping online. Offer to help your neighbor shovel their walk or stay and help the host clean when at a holiday party. The last two ideas make you a better friend — bonus, baby, bonus. 

2. Get Outside 

Japanese folks know a thing or two about boosting immunity. Research published by the National Institutes of Health indicates that those who participated in shinrin-yoku or forest-bathing increased their number of natural killer cells, immune cells that blast bad-guy germs. What’s more, the improved levels lasted for up to 30 days. 

What’s their magic? According to science, the answer is phytoncides, chemicals that defend trees and shrubs against predators. Thanks to the miracle of Mother Nature, breathing them in also improves human immunity. Yes, it’s cold — but bundle up and get out there, anyway. 

3. Eat More Citrus Fruit

First, the bad news — drinking your O.J. won’t help you ward off a cold. However, getting at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C daily can shorten the time you feel unwell if you do get sick. 

While you may automatically think of oranges, please don’t overlook even weightier sources of this vital nutrient. A cup of chopped red pepper has nearly three times as much vitamin C as the aforementioned fruit. Sprinkle some in your salad or add a small handful to soup for zing. 

4. Go a Little Nutty

Zinc won’t keep you from getting sick, either — but, like vitamin C, it can shorten a cold’s duration. However, when you take it matters. It works best if you take it as soon as symptoms develop, if not before. 

You won’t need to worry if you get enough when you reach for nuts as a snack. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of this mineral, with varieties like cashews, pecans and pepitas weighing in with impressive amounts. 

5. Wash Your Hands

Hand-washing remains one of the best tips for staying healthy, not only during the holidays but always. If you mindfully pay attention to how frequently you touch your face, you’ll understand why. Every time you scratch your nose, adjust your glasses or pop a stick of gum in your mouth, you potentially introduce germs directly to your mucus membranes. 

Make sure you lather up sufficiently. A quick rinse won’t do the trick — you need to scrub like a surgeon while singing “Happy Birthday” in your head twice. 

6. Keep Your Distance and Mask Up

As much as you might crave a hug, social distancing remains necessary — even among folks you know. Officials fear that holiday gatherings will lead to an explosion in new COVID-19 cases and strain already-burdened hospitals. 

The best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones are to keep your distance and wear a mask. Make it fun instead of burdensome — have an “ugly mask” contest. The winner gets the first choice of white elephant gifts. 

7. Drink in Moderation — If at All 

The holidays are synonymous with overindulgence, but when it comes to the sauce, please moderate your consumption. A DUI can cost thousands of dollars and even your job, and now is not the ideal time to be out of work. 

Plus, alcohol messes with your neurotransmitters and leads to poor decisions. The effects don’t immediately wear off when you stop drinking. Many people experience morning-after anxiety, which clouds judgment, and heavy drinkers might need considerable time until their brain chemicals regulate. 

8. Resolve to Quit Smoking — and Get a Jumpstart

If you are sincere about changing your habits, you don’t need to wait for a “special” day like January 1. If your resolution involves kicking the butts, get started now so that you aren’t kicking off the new year angry as a bear roused from hibernation. 

Start cutting down today. Swap one smoke break for a visit to the water cooler while you suck on a toothpick. If you struggle, you can find free resources to help you quit. Be gentle with yourself and don’t give up — many folks make multiple attempts before going smoke-free for good. 

Try The 8 Tips Above and Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

The 2020 holidays come gift-wrapped with an extra set of germs under the tree. Stay healthy this season by using the eight best tips above. 

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