2016-12-01 / OnCall

Holiday Health Hazards

Joeleen M. Stocker, MS, RD, CSP, LDN

Q: From colds and flus to overeating and holiday blues, the holiday season can be a health hazard in so many ways. What are some of the most important ways to stay healthy this season?

A: Some of the most important ways you can stay healthy include: washing your hands, getting enough sleep, staying active and sticking to your exercise program, staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet.

Hand washing is the most important way to keep from catching colds and the flu. Getting enough sleep can also keep your body strong and more resilient to stress and illness. Keeping up your exercise program can help manage stress and maintain your weight in the midst of holiday party season. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, impaired concentration, anxiety and headaches, so maintaining your hydration status by drinking enough water can help prevent those symptoms, making it easier to not overdo it with the eggnog.

Maintaining a balanced diet can be challenging during the holiday season. Gatherings with holiday cookies, candy and baked goods can increase your sugar intake and lead to weight gain during the season. One of the most important things we can do to stay healthy is to be mindful of what we eat. Nutrition plays a huge role in how we feel and is a basic building block in wellness. A healthy body is better equipped to fight off illness and keeps us feeling better overall.

These habits can help you be healthier all around, but the holiday season can be tough, so please contact your primary care provider if you experience the signs and symptoms of depression. Remember to enjoy the meaning of the holidays and the time spent with friends and family! For more healthy holiday tips and tricks, visit

Joeleen M. Stocker, MS, RD, CSP, LDN
Nutrition & Culinary Services
Mount Nittany Medical Center

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