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Giving the Gift of Health This Holiday Season
Date:12/1/2008

Ideas from U-M physician include economical options

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A bottle of cologne, a new pair of pajamas or a video game are all quick and easy gifts to buy and wrap for the upcoming holiday season. But this year, why not give something more healthy and beneficial to a loved one? Why not give the gift of health?

Staying healthy around the holidays can be challenging, and this year, many Americans are faced with extra hardships due to our tough economy.

Caroline R. Richardson, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School (http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/), offers some guidance for buying healthy gifts that may be leaner on your body as well as on your wallet.

"This is the time of the year that people fear the most; food is everywhere and most of it is not good for you," says Richardson. Many people also find it difficult to stay physically active during the colder winter months. In addition, she says, it can be a very stressful time for a lot of people, and the prospect of having to buy presents for many people only adds to the stress.

Some kinds of gifts that help reduce stress or help recipients remain healthy include nutritious foods, things that help people stay physically active and gifts that reduce peoples' stress levels. Richardson says there are many options for gifts in all three categories.

Healthy Foods

Richardson says her favorite healthy gift to give is olive oil and vinegar. These items help people get their daily vegetable intake because a good olive oil and vinegar dressing make salads and other foods much tastier, she notes. It can also be paired with homemade
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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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