Wednesday, July 8News That Matters

Commentary: Etter supervisor talks holiday health tips – The Slate Online

With the holidays right around the corner, be sure to keep your health and safety a priority while decking the halls. Take these 11 steps to ensure that your holidays are merry and your New Year is bright:

Wash hands often: It is flu season, and while we all love to participate in large family gatherings and time with friends over the holidays, our time together can help spread colds. Be sure you are washing your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. A good rule of thumb is to wash your hands for the duration of singing Happy Birthday.

Get vaccinated: Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. The only way to prevent certain viruses such as the flu is to be vaccinated. So come back to campus in January ready to tackle the semester as well as the flu virus.

Manage stress: Everything about the holidays can be stressful. Give yourself a break and find your peace on earth if you start feeling overwhelmed by all the merriment. Some healthy ways to manage stress include finding support, connecting socially, finding a new hobby, exercise and getting plenty of rest.

Bundle up: Baby it’s cold outside… and wearing appropriate outdoor clothing will help you stay warm and dry. Wear light and warm layers with gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.

Fasten seat belts: Buckle up every time, even on short trips over the river and through the woods, and encourage others to do the same.

Watch those chestnuts roasting on an open fire: Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves or candles unattended. Have a fire emergency plan and practice the plan with everyone in your household.

Don’t drink and drive: When anyone drives while intoxicated, they put everyone out on the road in danger. Make smart choices and don’t drink and drive and help others do the same.

Stay physically active: It’s the most wonderful time of the year to get outdoors.Make a point to stay physically active for at least 2 ½ hours each week. You can do this at your local gym or treadmill, but winter offers some great outdoor activities such as ice skating, skiing and sledding.

Be smoke free: Avoid any type of smoke or secondhand smoke. Smoking of any form puts you at greater health risks.

Prepare food safely: Holidays mean parties and food. Remember to wash your hands and clean all surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate left-overs promptly.

Eat healthy: try trading a gingerbread cookie for some fruits and veggies, which are packed with nutrients and help lower the risk for disease. Limit your portion sizes, especially those foods high in fat, salt and sugar.  

Wishing all members of our campus community a Happy Holiday Season and a Healthy New Year!  

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