STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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fingernail or credit card or use tweezers.” Wash the site with soap and water and cover it and keep it clean; apply a cold pack to the area to reduce pain and swelling. If the person has any trouble breathing or shows signs of anaphylaxis, call 911 if possible. The best prevention is using insect repellent containing DEET. Check for ticks daily and remove them if you see any. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help prevent picking up ticks, and light colors help you spot them better.


Contemplate various issues that could arise so you have an action plan. “Make sure you have the skills you need for your camping adventure, like knowing how to read a compass, erect a temporary shelter or give first aid and practice your skills in advance,” Lauritzen said. “It is safest to camp with at least one companion, but if you will be entering a remote area, your group should have a minimum of four people.”


Some areas require you to have reservations or certain permits, so find out in advance about these. Also ask about rules regarding campfires or wildlife.

Some people love the great outdoors and are willing to pitch a tent in the nearest glade and set up a rustic campsite. Other people prefer to camp with all the comforts of home in an RV or trailer. (This is often called “glamping.”) Whatever your preference, being prepared is essential for a safe and successful camping trip.


“Being prepared for emergency situations is critical when people are out in remote areas with limited access to phone service, hospitals and emergency help,” said Don Lauritzen, communications officer with the American Red Cross.


Safety starts with making sure you have everything you need. Create a checklist and consult it frequently as you get ready for your trip. “Items to bring include nutritious food items and water; a first-aid kit, including sunscreen and personal medications; lightweight clothing to layer; and supplies for any pets,” Lauritzen said.


Bug bites are a common occurrence when camping, Lauritzen said, though they are usually harmless. They may cause pain, swelling or an allergic reaction.


“If someone is stung by an insect, you should remove any visible stinger,” Lauritzen said. “Scrape it away from the skin with a clean

SAFE CAMPING

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

Share your itinerary with someone – just in case. “Include such details as the make, year and license plate of your car, the equipment you are bringing and when you plan to return,” Lauritzen said.


Now that you’re prepared, make plans to be active and have fun during your trip. This may include walking, hiking, swimming or biking. Bring along protective gear such as helmets, life jackets, sturdy shoes and a survival pack.


“In a small waterproof container, place a pocket knife, compass, whistle, space blanket, nylon filament, water purification tablets, matches and candle,” Lauritzen said. “With these items, the chances of being able to survive in the wild are greatly improved.”


When you plan ahead and know what to expect, your camping trip will be both safe and fun.