By Taneia Surles
MPH Community Outreach Coordinator
As we approach the holiday season, billions of people are gearing up to celebrate with home-cooked meals and splurging on gifts. While the holidays are a time to relax and spend time with your family, your health should still be a priority. “During the holiday season, it is important to keep good healthy habits that you won’t regret going into the New Year,” said Jillian Walker, a certified nurse practitioner (CRNP) at HAPPI Health.
Use the following tips to stay healthy during the holiday season:
Get vaccinations – Flu season typically starts at the beginning of fall and concludes at the end of spring. It’s essential for everyone to get flu vaccinations as soon as they are available.
Flu symptoms range from mild to severe, which may include (Key Facts About Influenza (Flu), 2022):
HAPPI Health offers flu vaccinations at our Sparkman and Franklin locations.
Adopt portion control – Popular traditions on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day involve eating delicious, home-cooked meals. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying turkey and dressing, ensure that you’re not overindulging. Overindulging is when a person eats larger-than-needed portions of food. To avoid overindulging, use your hands as a serving guide for portion control. In addition, portion control is essential to ensure you’re not going over your recommended caloric intake. “Practice moderation this holiday season and prioritize your calories for your favorite things,” said Walker.
Stay physically active
While the holiday season is a time to relax and celebrate with your loved ones, you should continue your healthy habits during these months. People tend to fall off track because they’re now at home instead of school and work, leading to an increase in sedentary habits like sitting or lying down on the couch.
Stay active throughout the holidays with the following tips (Valles, 2022):
• Take walks after a meal
• Go to the gym
• Find an active hobby, like tennis or hiking
• Use the stairs instead of the elevator
• Stand instead of sit
Regardless of the season, always ensure you’re making strides toward improving your overall health and wellbeing.
–Jillian Walker, CRNP
Jillian Walker is a family nurse practitioner from Huntsville, Alabama. She attended Samford University to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing, and later graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a master’s in nursing. She has a passion for empowering patients and providing teaching so that they can care for themselves and take initiative in their health. Jillian is happily married and has a young daughter. She enjoys baking, serving the community through her church, and playing tennis.
Key Facts About Influenza (Flu). (2022, October 24). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm
Valles, J. (2022, October 5). Tips For Avoiding A Sedentary Lifestyle. National Association for Continence. https://nafc.org/alternative-treatment/tips-for-avoiding-a-sedentary-lifestyle/