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YMCA: 12 Health Tips for Now Through the New Year

There is nothing better than giving the gift of health and safety this holiday season.

There is nothing better than giving the gift of health and safety this holiday season. Here is a play on the “12 Days of Christmas” with 12 tips during this very busy time of year.

1) Get enough sleep. Don't over-commit yourself and prevent holiday anxiety and pressure. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we tend to over-commit ourselves. Remember to take care of yourself and try not to go overboard with traveling, parties, shopping, and cooking.

2) Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: although it has been unseasonably warm, remember to wear layers of light, warm clothing, mittens, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.

3) Wash your hands often to keep from spreading germs and getting sick. Wash hands with soap and clean, running water for at least 20 seconds. According to the CDC, about 80 percent of infectious diseases are spread by touch—germs get on the hands and from there into the eyes and mouth.

4) Limit alcohol consumption. Never drink and get behind the wheel of a car.

5) Don’t smoke or start your resolution early and quit smoking. Also, avoid secondhand smoke.

6) Buckle up for safety. Fasten your seatbelts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt according to his or her height, weight and age. Buckle up every person, every trip, every time no matter how short the distance.

7) Update your personal and family history. Regular health exams and screenings can save your life. Ask what exams you need and when to get them.

8) Get your vaccinations, which help prevent diseases and save lives.

9) Give the right gift. Keep potentially dangerous toys away from youngsters. We know buying the right gift can be overwhelming. Give the gift of safety this year; give the child in your life swim lessons. In Southeastern New England, 85% of school-aged children have had no formal swim lesson.

10) Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so be careful to never leave fireplaces, space heaters, stoves or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.

11) Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate promptly.

12) Eat healthy and get moving. Eat fruits and vegetables. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat and sugar. Take a walk as a family after the big holiday meal.

For other tips or general information about the please contact Dawn Gardner Member Relations & Wellness Director at 847-9200 ext 132.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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