The holiday season is a wonderful time for gathering around the table with loved ones. But with those gatherings come a host of health hazards: germs, foodborne illnesses, and weight gain among them.

“People are around friends, family, little kids. We’re all sharing our germs, going from place-to-place, house-to-house,” said family nurse practitioner Rachel Gruenberg. “Also picking up our germs out in the community. Everybody is out shopping, and you don’t realize the amount of things you touch, so number one thing we always talk about is washing your hands.”

That goes for the office parties as well as the home gatherings: it’s estimated that the average desk space harbors 10 million bacteria, and cold and flu viruses can easily spread from person to person in enclosed office environments. Remember to wash your hands frequently and encourage others to do the same.

Hygiene is important in the kitchen, too. Before baking or cooking, especially for a crowd, make sure that all surface areas are clean to prevent food contamination that may lead to illness. Approximately one in six Americans gets sick from food or drink contamination every year, a risk that can be largely avoided in the home by making sure all meats are thoroughly cooked and all leftovers are properly stored in the refrigerator.

But the health issue that tends to worry people the most over the holidays is weight gain. With the many treats and feasts that tend to accompany the season, it’s common for people to gain anywhere from five to 10 pounds over a short span of time.

Leana Wen, M.D., recommends staying active with aerobic exercise through the season to offset the extra consumption, and to practice moderation when indulging in holiday goods.

“Eat smaller meals instead of ‘saving yourself’ for one huge buffet,” Wen said. “Opt for healthy options at home, and when visiting others, bring a healthy dish to share. Be careful of liquid calories, including alcoholic beverages.”

Perhaps the most important health tip to remember through the hectic year-end sprint is to take the time to de-stress and relax. Balance social events with quiet time at home, and remember to give yourself the gift of self-care.

“We’re all burning the candles at both ends during the holidays,” Gruenberg said, “so just making sure you’re getting your rest, your sleep and taking care of yourself.”