December 2 2009 by Casey Bower
We are hearing a lot about the Swine Flu and other sicknesses right now, and with the holiday travel season, cold weather, and family gatherings, it is important to do what we can to stay healthy. I'm no "germaphobe," but I also am determined to avoid getting sick this season.
With all of the traveling, airports, cab rides and family dinners with my cousin James (who will inevitably have strep throat or something else terrible) I've formed a plan of action for how to keep my immune system strong throughout this holiday season.
Here it goes:
Drink water. I used to get so mad at my father when he would tell me this but now that I know the science behind it, I get it... Germs try to enter your body through the mouth and nose, your body creates mucus to help keep them out... If you don't drink water, you can't create mucus... end of discussion.
Clean hands. Your hands touch an awful lot of surfaces every day, and they also touch your eyes, mouth, nose etc... So keep them clean, and try not to touch your face too much. Wash those puppies like there is no tomorrow, keep a little bottle of sanitizer with you if you have to!
Cold = A Cold. Ok, I don't really have anything to back me up on this and I know that some people will say that the cold weather does not affect your health, but I know that every time I let my body get too cold for too long, I start to feel crummy the next day. I actually did hear something cool that made sense, I was told that it is not the temperature that makes you sick but the fact that you body has to work to keep itself warm when it is cold out. All of that energy that it could be using to fight off the germs and bad guys has to be used to try to keep your body temp at a tropic level. Bottom line is don't try to be tough, pack a sweater.
Don't stress out! SOO much easier said than done... but really, figure out a way to reduce that stress, that way your body can put that freak out energy towards staying healthy. Here is my new secret: find a time during the day/evening that you set aside for yourself and do something that you enjoy. Go for a walk, read a book, sit and stare into space... Just make sure that you are breathing deeply, and temporarily letting go of the tension.
Exercise and sleep. Think of your body as a cell phone battery, it will last the longest (hold the most energy) if you charge it fully and then wear it out fully and repeat, right? This isn't something that you start doing when you feel yourself getting sick, but if you do it on a regular basis you will be amazed.
Drink hot Liquids. I also have no science that I know of to back me up here, but I do know that a hot cup of tea can never hurt. Also, you are getting you liquids, helping your body stay warm, and helping de-stress all in one...
One last tip for holiday health, enjoy yourself! Don't stress about getting sick, ultimately, if you do, you do. Enjoy the company of your loved ones, roll with the punches, and instead of focusing on "not getting sick" focus on what you can do to "become healthier."
P.S. Not to sound neurotic, but if you have some other health tips of your own, I'm always looking for more. =) Just leave me a comment below. Thanks.