HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Hi folks, it’s Dr. Krieger here! I wanted to give you a few of my personal favorite tips and tricks to help you stay healthy during the holidays.
Don’t let the crisp, winter weather keep you inside. As Montanans, we have an appreciation of the great outdoors and the Big Sky. We all know the benefits of exercise – weight management, elevated mood and cardiovascular health – to name just a few. Stay active by participating in winter sports such as: cross country skiing, ice skating, hockey, downhill skiing, snowboarding, broomball, snowshoeing and winter hikes and exploring.
Take Quick Trip Somewhere Local
You can also take a day trip to the Lewis and Clark Caverns, a short ride west of Bozeman to Whitehall, and try your hand at spelunking and exploring these natural and awesome limestone caverns. These family friendly caves are open seasonally, but offer special candlelight tours during the holidays. Call 406.287.3541 for more information and to reserve tickets. I did the candlelight cave tour a few years back and it was so magical – they have the caverns especially decorated for the holiday season!
KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN
Hand washing is probably the most simple thing a person can do during the winter months to stay healthy and to protect yourself from catching colds and flus. Using soap and water is still the best practice, but alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be used. However, you should avoid hand sanitizers that contain Triclosan. Triclosan is a common added antimicrobial agent in many hand sanitizers. This chemical has been shown in studies to lead to antibiotic resistance as well as to interfere with hormone metabolism and cause harm to the immune system.
Make sure that you properly wash your entire hands – palms, back of hands, nail beds and between and around all fingers for at least 30 seconds. Do this before preparing food and eating and after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose. Another easy idea to help keep your hands clean is to sneeze into the crook of your elbow and avoid the use of your hands altogether.
MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
During the holidays, we are reminded to offer charity to those in need. It is also equally important to make time for yourself in order to help with stress management during these busy times. Do something for yourself that makes you happy. Such as getting a massage or a pedicure, enjoying a long bath with bath salts and candles, watching your favorite movie, a weekend getaway to the local hot springs, reading a new book or cooking a special meal for yourself. You can also take a few moments each morning to remind yourself what you are grateful for in your life. Studies have shown that this promotes overall happiness and wellbeing.
Another way to stay healthy during the holidays is to alternate between warm and cool temperatures. Indicated for colds, flus, muscle and joint pain, sleep disturbances and weight loss. This technique assists in detoxification and supports overall wellness and immune function. This service can be compared to a “whole body” contrast hydrotherapy treatment. It is one of my personal favorites and I feel AMAZING afterwards.
Alternate time in a sauna (15 minutes) with taking a dip into a cold plunge pool (about 60℉) for 2-3 minutes as tolerated.
Repeat the sauna/cold plunge at least 3 times.
Remember to end on cold for best health benefits.
You won’t regret taking the time out of your schedule for this. People often report instant improvement in overall health after a single treatment!