WELLNESS
12/14/2014 09:39 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Ways To Be Just A Little Bit Healthier When You're Vegging Out This Holiday Season

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By Ellen Seidman

Lounging around, binge-watching Netflix and snacking a lot is all fine and good when it's cold outside. At least that's what I tell myself. Actually, though, there are some simple ways to make being a slug just a little healthier. And not one involves a workout.

Have some wine with that.
You know that alcohol in moderation can protect your heart. But vino could feasibly head off a cold. In one study in the American Journal of Epidemiology that took place in Spain, people who drank the most wine were less likely to come down with a cold than those who abstained or downed beer or spirits. Red wine has the edge, possibly because of its antioxidants. Experts say that women should stick to one glass per day for the most health benefits (and fewest risks). Cheers!

Cuddle up to a book.
People who regularly read fiction are better able to understand other people and empathize with them, studies show. A helpful list: The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards, as decided by readers.

Stretch just a little.
If you're going to be sitting around on your butt a lot, you want to make sure your spine doesn't get all stiff and achy. Check out these three simple, feel-good back stretches. Note: You must put down the Pop Chips to do them.

Whip up some comfort food.
And make it just a little bit healthier. This list of 52 comfort-food makeovers includes everything from fried chicken to triple-chocolate brownies. So good, you wouldn't even know they're also good for you.

Call a friend and compare who's lazier.
You don't want to hibernate too much -- loneliness can impact your immune system. Researchers at Ohio State University found that people who were lonely produced more inflammation-related proteins in response to stress than people who felt socially connected. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and even Alzheimer's. Resist the urge to text and pick up the phone; there's nothing like good old actual conversation.

Inhale.
As you float endlessly in the tub, your skin pruning up by the second, breathe in the scent of your soap or gel. People who savor stuff are more likely to have higher levels of happiness than non-appreciators, finds research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

Take. More. Naps.
Scientists are discovering that sleep has all kinds of perks, including better memory and focus, more creativity and a healthier weight. Then again, you won't have to worry as much about putting on winter pounds now that you've learned how to be a little bit healthier lazy person.

More from Health.com:
13 Comfort Foods That Burn Fat
15 Natural Back Pain Remedies
22 Ways to Get Happy Now

7 Ways to Be a Healthier Lazy Person This Winter originally appeared on Health.com

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