FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — While you share a table with your family this Thanksgiving, a local physician wants to make sure you won’t share any illness.

“I’m having some Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and my brother with his fiancée. So, you know, just hang out with the family and just have a good time before Black Friday,” said Joel Barnes, who plans to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

He says he plans to spend Thanksgiving feasting with his family as well.

“I’m just a big foodie. So, you know, anything sweet, anything savory, I am always down to eat,” said Barnes.

A full stomach is the only thing he wants to leave dinner with. So he actively tries to prevent spreading illnesses.

“Having some hand sanitizer in my back pocket just in case I had to shake anyone’s hands or, you know, hug somebody,” said Barnes.

Dr. Blake Hansen with Simplified Health says Barnes is on the right track.

“That’s the biggest thing because the viruses that cause those common colds, they all like to get into the respiratory cells within our nose and our mouth,” said Hansen.

Hansen says keep washed hands away from your face. He encourages families to have a designated person to remind everyone to wash their hands before eating. Hansen says to try to get tested for allergies, a cold, or the flu ahead.

“See health care providers to see if they can get you tested quickly so you can promptly remove yourself from the group or others to keep them safe and get yourself recovered,” said Hansen.

If you don’t feel well, he encourages you to stay home. With the stress the holidays bring, Hansen says your immune system can already be compromised. So he recommends doing this to keep your health up.

“Even though we’re going to be stuffing ourselves with turkey, we want to make sure that we’re still exercising and staying active because that is a positive reinforcement to the body and helps lower the stress,” said Hansen.

As for Barnes, he says, “You know, the food, is the best part.”

Hansen also recommends adding fruits and vegetables to your Thanksgiving plates to keep your immune system up.