THE 12 DAYS OF sick­ness

that's life (Australia) - - Living Well -

Christ­mas is a time to be jolly, but many peo­ple also feel sniffly, itchy or queasy. These quick tips will help you stay healthy dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

ASTHMA

Dusty dec­o­ra­tions can make asth­mat­ics wheeze. Main­tain your pre­ven­ta­tive asthma plan, keep re­liev­ers handy and shake dec­o­ra­tions out­side be­fore decking the halls.

COLDS AND FLU

Christ­mas is a time to share – but not germs. Wash hands reg­u­larly and avoid hugs and kisses with any fam­ily mem­bers who are sick.

BACK PAIN

Dec­o­rat­ing, con­struct­ing swing sets and long hours in the kitchen can all lead to back­aches. Bend knees when lift­ing, stretch reg­u­larly and rest of­ten.

OVEREATING

Avoid tummy aches with por­tion con­trol. Plum pud is a treat, not a meal!

CHRIST­MAS TREE SYN­DROME

Mould spores on live Christ­mas trees can cause hay fever symp­toms. Hose down the tree and dry out­side be­fore bring­ing in­doors. Keep your house cool and ven­ti­lated.

COLD SORES

Cold sores pop up when you’re stressed or run down. Ly­sine sup­ple­ments can help re­duce symp­toms, but anti-vi­ral creams are also avail­able over the counter.

STRESS

Whether from fi­nan­cial strain, fam­ily ten­sion or just the chaos of Christ­mas, man­age stress by get­ting qual­ity sleep and del­e­gat­ing jobs.

SUN­BURN

Avoid mid­day sun, ap­ply a broad-spec­trum, high-SPF sun­screen ev­ery day and al­ways wear a hat and sun­glasses.

FOOD POI­SON­ING

Keep hot food steam­ing hot and cold food icy cold. En­sure meat is cooked through and put left­overs in the fridge fast.

HANG­OVER

Keep track of how much you’re drink­ing and al­ter­nate with wa­ter. Be con­scious of foods or drinks with hid­den al­co­hol, like cock­tails, egg nog and boozy fruit cake.

IN­DI­GES­TION

Rich, fatty foods and al­co­hol can cause in­di­ges­tion and heart­burn. Pro­bi­otics may help, but preven­tion is bet­ter than cure.

HEART AT­TACK

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Heart Foun­da­tion, more heart at­tacks oc­cur on Christ­mas Day, Box­ing Day and New Year’s Day than at any other time. All these tips can help re­duce your chances of a heart at­tack, but be aware of symp­toms and call emer­gency ser­vices on 000, or 111 in NZ, if con­cerned.

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