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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It’s time for fun in the sun. But with summer comes some risks. Follow these tips to stay healthy and happy this season.


Sun Protection

Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure is harmful to the skin. It can cause a sunburn or, worse, skin cancer – the most common type of cancer in the United States. Protect yourself and your children by wearing hats and clothing that cover exposed skin when going to the lake, beach or pool. Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes and surrounding skin. And don’t forget the sunscreen. The sun protection factor (SPF) is the product’s level of ultraviolet B waves (UVB) protection. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns. An SPF of 30 will make 30 minutes in the sun equal to one minute of UVB exposure. The higher the SPF, the smaller the difference in protection. Broad  spectrum sunscreens additionally protect against UVA. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, including the face, ears and neck at least every two hours.


Mosquitoes

Mosquito bites can be annoying, and they can also lead to illness. Insect repellents with the ingredient DEET are the most effective. DEET doesn’t kill mosquitoes but it keeps them away. “All repellents are tested to see if they beat DEET,” said Dr. Mustapha Debboun, director of the mosquito control division of Harris County Public Health and Environmental

SUMMERTIME SAFETY

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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Services in Houston. Follow the label directions for how often to reapply repellent; the higher the concentration of DEET the longer it will last.


Food Safety

Higher temperatures can cause foodborne illnesses. When bringing food along for a picnic, use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches, cold salads made with mayonnaise or eggs, tuna, chicken, pasta and egg salads, cut fruit and vegetables and any dairy products at the correct cold temperature. A full cooler will retain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one. Keep the cooler out of direct sun exposure and avoid repeatedly opening it to maintain the temperature longer. Perishable food should not sit out more than two hours. In weather above 90 degrees, food should never sit out for more than one hour. Serve cold food in small portions and keep the rest in the cooler.