“Stay out of the rain or you’ll catch a cold.” Okay. Rain doesn’t cause a cold, a virus does. Whoever is telling you to stay out of the rain at least has good intentions even if their medical acumen is a little lacking. We want to add out good intentions too. Even though you can catch a cold or the flu anytime, more cases seem to develop starting in October and tapering off in March. Check out the CDC’s website for more on that. We want to share a few things to help you stay healthy. Not only tips on how to help stay healthy but also why it is so important to put effort into staying healthy.
Importance of Staying Healthy
There are a lot of quotes out there about the importance of good health. Most of them boil down to optimizing tools to create the best life possible, your body is one of those tools. There are comparisons to musical instruments and other machines not running well if not taken care of. Our bodies are the same. Comparing the body to an automobile is another popular correlation – if you never change the oil in your car it will not last very long. If you don’t take care of your body, it will not last very long either.
In addition to longevity, quality of your life tends to be better when you are healthier. Have you ever woken up sick and still have to pull yourself together to go to work or school? It’s much easier to get up and be excited about the day ahead when you aren’t coughing and sneezing. If you are a parent or someone who others depend on, when you are sick it is harder to be patient with your charges. You do not think as clearly sick as you do when you are healthy. Your alertness and reaction time are also slower. That could become a critical issue if you are driving. Your body is more tired and less hydrated, so you need more quality sleep and more water.
Being sick is excessively inconvenient.
Maintenance for Staying Healthy
How you choose to live can help you stay healthy. Diet and exercise are two of the biggest things you have control over.
You don’t have to spend an hour a day in the gym to get some exercise. But you do have to put a little effort into your body. Google Daily Exercise and see what comes up. There are suggestion all over the web for people of various different physical conditions and available time. See what works for you and remember to start small. Smaller attainable goals are easier to build on.
Diet can help you or hurt you. If all you eat are Big Macs and soda, you are not helping yourself. A balanced diet helps your body be stronger run more efficiently than a lopsided diet full of sugar and preservatives.
The CDC and NHS have some helpful guidelines to get people on track toward healthy diets. As you consider which ways to make your diet help you, remember to include water. We talk about it a lot but hydrating is really important. Being properly hydrated helps make your entire body operate better.
In addition to diet and exercise, there is another major area of influence you have about staying healthy. This one is harder to measure. It is your attitude. Just like being a key to successfully achieving your goals, your attitude is key in staying healthy. There is a very interesting article about research done by Duke University regarding 3,000 heart patients and their attitude about their health. The short version is that those with a positive attitude were out living those with a negative attitude. Here is the link to the article. You have heard the phrase mind over matter – by staying positive you are more likely to generate positive results.
Our last tip is to find an outlet for your stress. It goes along with staying positive. No one is stress free but we have found that people who manage their stress have happier healthier lives than those who do not. Exercise is a great outlet for it. Then you are getting a kind of two for one on the staying healthy meter. You are exercising and de-stressing. Not to boast too much, but we have to say that Martial Arts is a great way to let go of that stress and to get exercise. (Feel free to schedule a trial class whenever you are ready).
Cold & Flu Season
No one can give you a way to never be sick again. People average three colds a year. You may not be able to avoid any of them but there are things that you can do to keep their interference in your life to a minimum. When you feel the cold coming on, take action. Do not wait until it takes hold of you before you do something about it.
- Stay hydrated. When you do not drink enough water your body’s normal processes struggle. When you are ill, if you do not keep up on fluid intake you become dehydrated and it can prolong your illness.
- Get plenty of rest. When you are run down it is easier for a virus to take hold of your body. Get some sleep.
- Eat. But not junk. Orange juice and chicken soup may not prevent a cold, but they do seem to help shorten the recovery time when you get one. Hot tea and honey help too. Some of these sound like old wives tales but they can work. Try them.
Remember Cold and Flu Season is almost here, be prepared.
Take Care and Be Safe