Staying healthy through the holidays can be a challenge when you are juggling a busy schedule of holiday events, shopping, family visits, and extra work obligations. If you are being fooled by these common holiday health myths, you may be faced with even more hurdles managing your health this season.
Myth: Getting exercise in cold weather is bad for you
Don’t let the cold weather slow you down when it comes to your exercise routine. You can still enjoy a good run or bike ride as long as you dress in protective layers and don’t forget to drink water as you exercise. If the weather really is getting in your way, consider a gym membership as a holiday gift to yourself.
Myth: You lose most of your body heat through your head
The evidence for this old wives’ tale is shaky at best, since you lose heat pretty equally from all parts of the body. When you bundle yourself or your kids up in warm clothing to face cold temperatures, a hat is important, but this doesn’t mean you should skip the gloves and warm socks.
Myth: Late-night eating causes weight gain
You might attend some holiday parties where dinner is served late or there are late-night snacks offered alongside cocktails, and this could have you worrying about weight gain. In reality, calories are calories no matter when they are eaten. The point where late-night snacking becomes a problem is when higher calorie comfort foods are regularly part of an evening routine. Mindless snacking on leftovers or holiday goodies will promote weight gain, but eating dinner a little later than usual is nothing to worry about.
Myth: There are cures to holiday hangovers
Unfortunately, there is no way to cure a hangover, so prevention is still the most reliable method. On those evenings when you indulge in a few drinks, make sure that you do not drink on an empty stomach and pace yourself throughout the night. Sweet drinks made with hard alcohol are typically the worst culprits for hangovers, since they dehydrate your body with both alcohol and large quantities of sugar.
Myth: Suicide rates spike in the holidays
There is a common belief that suicides are more common around the holidays, but this pattern is not actually seen anywhere in the world. While depression is more common when weather is cold and sunshine is limited, there is no reason to worry about a higher likelihood of suicide.
Separate fact from fiction when it comes to holiday health by posting your seasonal health concerns below and continuing to follow MeMD for regular updates.