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How to Avoid Getting Sick During the Holidays — 12 Tips from Doctors

How to Avoid Getting Sick During the Holidays — 12 Tips from Doctors


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Don’t let a cold or the flu sideline you this festive season

Sugar is an immune system suppressor

There’s no bigger bummer than getting sick during the holidays. You might be thinking, “This always happens to me this time of year,” and you’re probably right.

Click here to view the How to Avoid Getting Sick During the Holidays — 12 Tips from Doctors Slideshow

But why do so many people get sick during the holiday season? The answer might be related to your gut. Professor Glenn Gibson, head of microbial sciences at Reading University, points out that, “most of our immune system is located in the gut,” and that the change in diet, exercise patterns, and overall lifestyle during the holidays has a negative effect on our digestion and immunity.

Spending time with family is another hallmark of the holiday season, but this too can increase the risk of getting sick. “The holidays are a virus-distribution system,” warns Dr. William Schaffner, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, and staying in close quarters with sniffling cousins, nieces, and nephews is an easy way to get the entire family sick.

We’ve asked nine doctors — specializing in fields ranging from migraines to gastroenterology — how to avoid getting sick during the holidays, and for the most part they’ve all agreed that staying healthy involves following general healthy lifestyle principles like getting proper sleep, washing your hands frequently, and being active. But some doctors also recommended adhering to a few specific, immune-boosting remedies that may not be so familiar.

Here are 12 tips from nine doctors on how to avoid getting sick during the holidays


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.


How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel

It’s happened to everyone: You board a plane to see family for the holidays, or go on a quick tropical getaway, and bam! You’re sick within a few days of your return. It’s also relatively common to get sick during travel.

Why is vacation such a hotbed for illness? There are a few reasons, says Antonio Crespo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Orlando Health. “While traveling, people tend to be more adventurous and try things that they would not do routinely at home,” he explains. “That includes trying new foods, doing new activities, meeting new people and overall engaging in situations that can put them at risk of getting ill.” Exposure to new germs doesn’t help either.

There’s actually a lot you can do to avoid illness, though. If you have a travel wellness plan in place, you can also heal up faster should you come down with a bug on your trip, says Crespo. To reduce your risk of illness and its impact, practice these strategies.