It’s the holiday season and it’s cause for celebration with family, friends and co-workers. It’s also a time for some of us to get off track with health routines.
Temptation is everywhere: holiday office parties and celebrations with all the trimmings. So it’s important to watch your food intake this month. According to the National Institute of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year, which really adds up over the years. These extra pounds can lead to an obesity problem down the road. We all know how hard it is to lose weight, so try not to add it on in the first place.
The holidays are also a time for reflection. For some, they can bring back memories of lost loved ones and good times past. If you suffer from depression, please seek counseling and reach out to someone. Another thing to be aware of is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD is a type of depression that can be brought on – predominantly in the winter -from lack of daylight and shorter days during daylight savings. Also, holiday blues are nothing to ignore and nothing that alcohol can correct.
While we’re on the subject of alcohol, make sure to watch your intake of eggnog and other alcoholic beverages this season. If you’re going to a holiday office party and you’re going to drink, plan ahead and get a ride; or arrange for a cab. If you really want to reward your employees for all their hard work this year, provide transportation and make sure everyone arrives alive! If you want to give a gift to your office, be the designated driver.
If you’re looking for some expert advice on how to stay off the naughty list, the best remedy for all of the above is EXERCISE. Just because it’s colder out, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work out. Bundle up or invest in some indoor exercise equipment – it will pay for itself. If you’re going to be exercising outside, be careful of ice on the road, a twisted ankle can easily sideline you. Also, with it being darker earlier, be sure to wear bright reflective clothing.
The most important thing I can recommend for the holidays is to relax. It’s very easy to get caught up with deadlines, shopping, and family. Make sure you’re managing your time and getting enough rest. And most importantly…have fun!
A great way to de-stress is to give back. Start a collection at your office and pick a cause to help take the burden off someone else. If you find your office is receiving a number of gift baskets and holiday lunches, there are a number of places to donate to during the holidays.
If you’re looking for a good time with the family, visit Joe DiMartino’s holiday display in Rossville. To date, Joe has raised over $100,000 for the pediatric cancer program at SIUH. It’s a lot of fun and a great cause.
The DiMartino house is located at 107 Sharrotts Avenue on the South Shore of Staten Island (between Bloomingdale Rd. and Arthur Kill Rd.)
Have a happy, healthy and safe holiday!
Theodore Strange, MD, associate chairman of the Department Medicine and vice president of Medical Operations, SIUH South.