5 ways to stay healthy this holiday season
There’s something about all the holiday fanfare, from the shopping to the overindulgent work parties, that seems to be a recipe for disaster—or at the very least, illness. So what’s the deal? And how can you stay well?
“Being in close contact with others increases the risk of catching an illness, so the fall and winter seasons are primetime for falling ill,” says Heather Bass, MD, a family practitioner on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at McKinney. “But taking a few simple precautions can drastically reduce your risk of getting sick.”
1. Get the flu shot. These vaccines are a safe, easy way to protect yourself from the most common flu viruses.
2. Practice good hygiene. Beyond washing your hands frequently, remember to wipe down shopping carts with antibacterial wipes.
3. Snack smart. Avoid sampling dips where people might have doubledipped, or eating from bowls of food where many hands have been. Instead, opt for items that are individually wrapped or served with silverware or toothpicks.
4. Watch your drink. At social gatherings, keep your cup away from places where others might accidentally grab or sip from it and, if possible, mark it with your name.
5. Take care of yourself. Healthy habits, like eating well and getting regular exercise and enough rest, tend to take a nosedive this time of year. But maintaining these good practices can help boost your immunity.
Is It a Cold or the Flu?
Knowing what you’re dealing with can help you take action early and may help reduce the severity and duration of your illness. “The main difference between cold and flu is that the flu tends to have more severe symptoms such as muscle and body aches and is usually accompanied by a fever,” says Heather Bass, MD, a family practitioner on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at McKinney. If you suspect you have the flu, use healthy hand-washing practices to avoid spreading it to others and seek medical
treatment right away. There are medications that can help lessen the severity of your symptoms and prevent the spread of infection.
Fend off the Flu
Talk to your doctor about whether getting a flu shot is right for you. To find a physician on the medical staff at Baylor McKinney, visit FindDrRight.com or call 1.800.4BAYLOR.
About Baylor Medical Center at McKinney
Located at the northwest corner of Highway 380 and Lake Forest Drive, Baylor McKinney features a 95-bed, full-service hospital and surrounding medical office campus. Hospital services include heart and vascular, cancer, imaging, obstetrics and gynecology, level III NICU with private suites, digestive diseases, orthopedics, general surgery, neurology, internal medicine, emergency care, and outpatient services.
About Baylor Health Care System
Baylor Health Care System is a not-for-profit, faith-based supporting organization providing services to a network of acute care hospitals and related health care entities that provide patient care, medical education, research and community service. Baylor recorded more than 2.8 million patient encounters, $4 billion in total operating revenue, $5.2 billion in total assets and $502 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2011 (as reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services). Baylor’s network of more than 300 access points includes 30 owned/operated/ ventured/affiliated hospitals; joint ventured ambulatory surgical centers; satellite outpatient locations; senior centers and more than 180 HealthTexas Provider Network physician clinics. For information visit BaylorHealth.com.