The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. Cozy nights by the fire with family and friends, perhaps a glass of port, relaxing conversations, revisiting old memories. Moment’s likes these are an annual tradition, along with holiday shopping and the numerous parties to attend between work, friends and family.
Certainly, it’s a busy time of year. Getting all the shopping done on time is a stress, not to mention the sudden uptick in calories from scrumptious meals, candies and desserts—something to keep an eye on. However, most people tend to let things slide by the wayside and the waistline. They eat another cookie, have another drink and overextend themselves between deadlines at work, holiday shopping after hours and exhausted efforts that only end in traffic jams.
For this reason, it’s worth noting common health risks and holiday hazards occurring over the holiday season and how to avoid them for a safe, memorable holiday season.
Major Holiday Health Hazards
Holiday Weight Gain
It’s common knowledge that weight gain is the outcome of a holiday season well spent. The rich dinner spreads, extra drinking during social events, and colder weather leave little desire to hit the gym. Less exercise and more calories will add weight and with the weight gain comes a sedentary attitude, even back pain. The truth of the matter is, lack of exercise and weight gain alone elevates cholesterol levels.
Unfortunately, the only way to avoid holiday weight gain is through some level of discipline. Having a special treat or a glass of wine with dinner should be enjoyed. The key to staying healthy is moderation. Finally, keep a steady exercise schedule, which will give your body a chance to burn unnecessary fats and empower cravings for lean proteins and leafy greens.
Heart attacks can strike at anytime, that’s why it is a good idea to have an annual checkup with your doctor, in order to take preventative measures. Stress, poor diet and lack of circulation due to poor exercise choices are major factors that contribute to the risk of a heart attack. Certainly these are well known and well researched findings, however the risk of having a heart attack spikes in December alone.
According to a 12-year population based clinical investigation, deaths rise by one third in the winter due to ischemic heart disease. Ischemic heart disease is the buildup in arteries, which will, in due time, cause a heart attack.
Furthermore, to avoid this holiday risk, exercise and healthy diet are not the only measures to consider. Cold weather and stress play an equally large role in straining the heart. Demanding hours between work, parties and holiday shopping attribute to this possible ticking time bomb in your chest.
Take appropriate measures by checking in with your doctor annually. Your doctor may suggest taking aspirin or beta-blockers to improve blood flow. Finally, avoid overexerting the heart. Shoveling snow, hyper-extending muscles, excessive time spent indoors
Holiday Health Hazards
It’s a busy time of year. However, staying attuned to your surroundings and mindful could save your life. Traffic accidents, decorating calamities and poisonings are all common hazards during the holiday season. Poinsettias, for example are beautiful plants, their red flowers, a symbol of merry occasions. A small amount of caution should be taken if there are children or animals in the house. The ornamental plant will not cause death if leaves are ingested, but will cause stomach discomfort and nausea.
The Accidental Holiday
According to the National Safety Council, October ranks second, as the most dangerous month for traffic accidents. Certainly, something to be mindful of as children make their way along suburban roadways to trick or treat as many motor vehicle related deaths are pedestrians.
However, holiday accidents are just as likely to happen in the home, as they are on the roads. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates as many as 15,000 household decorating injuries occur between November and December. Of those estimates, up to 12,000 visit the emergency room. Most of the calamities are related to falling from a ladder or injuries caused from a broken ornament.
The holiday season is a time to share with family and celebrate time together, with food and joy. Enlist help decorating the house, or holding a ladder to avoid disasters. Take caution on the roads as a pedestrian, and always watch for oncoming traffic and children if you are behind the wheel. With a little care and attention, a safe enjoyable holiday is in store.