Cooper: Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

An expert in family health care offers tips for us all

As the holiday season approaches, you might wonder if it’s possible to enjoy dinners and parties without feeling totally stressed out and a few pounds heavier by New Year’s Day. It is possible, says Kang Han, DO, of Cooper Care Alliance (CCA) in Voorhees. You just need to stay aware of your choices throughout the season.  

Going to a holiday party? Dr. Han suggests eating a healthy snack before you go, so you’re not as hungry and less likely to dig into whatever is served. Of course, indulging from time to time is reasonable, she says. 

“If you’re good at self-control, that’s great,” Dr. Han says. “In general, though, watch portion size and balance your meals with proteins, carbs, fruits and vegetables. Use a smaller plate and don’t go back for seconds. If you’re diabetic, grab an extra protein instead of pasta, for example. Cut down on carbs and sugars.”

“Eat healthy all week, then have a cheat meal – indulge for a portion or a meal. Set a reward system. Switch your daily soda to water, then at the party you can have that soda,” Dr. Han explains. “This way you’re not losing something. You’re gaining something.”

She also stresses the importance of exercise, which during the busy holiday season can be particularly beneficial. “Try to get outside and walk. You don’t need to run a marathon,” she says. “Get a little out of breath, break a bit of a sweat. That’s the perfect spot to be. Then keep at that pace, if possible, for 30 minutes every other day, preferably 4 days a week.”

Another important tool to be your best this holiday season is getting a good night’s sleep. Getting enough rest allows the body to recharge, but it’s often overlooked. “Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day,” Dr. Han says. It’s a balancing act though, because 7-8 hours of sleep a night may be a little too much for some and not enough for others. 

“Not enough sleep throws everything off – overeating, stress, mood – and too much might mean depression. Find what’s right for you and stick with it.”

Other tips to get a good night sleep? Stay off electronics for 30 minutes before bedtime, keep pets out of the bed, keep the room dark, don’t eat or work in bed, and no reading there, either. “Train your body,” says Dr. Han, “so it knows that when you go to bed, it’s to sleep.”

But most important, Dr. Han says to take time to be present when you are with loved ones. “Remember to enjoy time with friends and family,” she adds. “Keeping the mind and spirit healthy is just as important as the physical component. A balanced lifestyle is the key to success.”

Treating Families the Cooper Way

Dr. Han joined Cooper Care Alliance at Voorhees earlier this year and has found that more than simply treating patients, her goal is to improve her patients’ daily lives.

“The best way for me to understand a patient is to know their entire family. When I joined Dr. Mark Leone and Dr. David Koerner in this practice, they had established a strong family environment with a wonderful connection between patients and staff members,” she says. “At Cooper Care Alliance in Voorhees, we focus on the family and recognize the value of forming life-long relationships.”

CCA at Voorhees provides coordinated, total healthcare for the entire family, offering annual checkups, physicals, women’s healthcare, health screenings, geriatrics, vaccinations and much more.

A benefit of treating the whole family, adds Dr. Han, is that she can remind partners, parents, and even grandparents to watch out for one another and support healthy choices. 

“We’re all caring for each other,” says Dr. Han. “It’s how our practice operates. Family and friends should always take care of each other, so that is what all of us at Cooper Care Alliance in Voorhees do with our patients. It’s what I love about the work we do here.” 


Cooper Care Alliance Primary Care at Voorhees
102 White Horse Rd W., Voorhees
856-536-1515 |