Tuesday, November 13, 2018

As we gear up for colder temperatures and a busy holiday season, it is important to remember to slow down and take precautions to stay healthy and safe.

There are several things you and your loved ones can do to help prevent illness and injury this winter and throughout the year. Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Practice good hand hygiene. The best way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash or sanitize your hands often. Also, make sure to cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Get a flu vaccination. Getting your flu vaccination every year is the best defense against the flu. Flu is a serious illness that kills about 36,000 people and hospitalizes more than 200,000 people in the United States each year. It is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in our country.
  • Make healthy food and drink choices. The holiday season does not have to be a time where you throw your healthy eating habits out the window. It’s okay to enjoy some treats, but it’s all about balance and moderation. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; choose low-fat and low-sodium options; limit your sugar intake; and drink lots of water.
  • Plan ahead to manage your stress. It is normal to feel added stress during the holidays when faced with busy schedules and increased spending. Before the holidays, set a budget and stick to it. Also, make a checklist of things you need to do and when they need to be completed to stay organized and reduce stress. It is also okay to ask family members and friends for help if you need it.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Research shows that chronic sleep loss can decrease a person’s immune system response and can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and other health problems. It’s important for adults to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep at night. The amount of sleep recommended for children and teens varies by age.
  • Stay active. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week — that’s about 20 minutes each day. Children and teens should participate in at least one hour of physical activity daily.
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco products. Visit www.okhelpline.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for help with quitting.
  • Stay safe when traveling. Make sure to always wear your seatbelt and to use a child safety seat or booster seat that is appropriate for the age, weight and height of your child. Also, take extra caution when driving in snow or rain, and do not drink alcohol and drive or let others drink and drive.  

If you need medical advice this winter or throughout the year, Norman Regional has you covered. Log on to Norman Regional Virtual Care and visit with a provider today from the comfort of your home, office or holiday retreat in Oklahoma. It’s quick, convenient and only costs $45 for each visit.