ASKED AND ANSWERED

Don't leave your health out in the cold

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With frigid temperatures, high stress preceding the holidays and enough food around to roll you down the mountain, many people need a plan of attack to keep healthy this late fall and winter season.

Lisa Bankard, wellness coordinator for the Wellness Program at Yampa Valley Medical Center, said the program has developed a "12 days of fitness" regimen that people can follow.

Bankard said the Wellness Program recommends doing some sort of exercise everyday, even if it's just a five-minute walk at lunch. Keep things consistent.

"People tend to gain between eight and 12 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's," Bankard said.

Although they don't expect people to lose weight over the holidays, Bankard recommends maintaining it.

Bankard said eat regular meals and try not to overindulge. Portion control can help in keeping winter weight off.

Patsy Ford, Routt County public health team leader at Visiting Nurse Association, said a few simple things will ward off illness and keep immune system in tact such as avoid contact with sick people, stay home if you're sick, get plenty of rest and good nutrition and wash your hands.

"The No. 1 way to prevent disease is to wash your hands," Ford said.

Ford also said this is a very stressful time for people and finding ways to decrease that stress will decrease illness. Immune systems need to be at their most healthy state in order to ward off infection and disease, Ford said.

Bankard said finding a community network or a support group of people to be around you in times of need will improve mental health.

"People in this town are incredibly busy. Don't be afraid to say no to things," Bankard said.

Sleep deprivation can lead to illness or compound an illness. Continue to drink lots of water.

Compiled by Kelly Silva

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