We are just a few weeks into fall and we need to start preparing for the cold and flu season. Here are a few tips to keep yourself and your family healthy during the school year and beyond.
- Wash Hands- often
Bacteria lives on fingertips, and research shows that adults touch their face, mouth, eyes and nose about 16 times and hour. Kids might touch their nose and eyes for the entire hourJ Hands must be washed on a regular basis to keep germs off and out of the body. Hands should be washed with soap in warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday Song.
There are many reasons to exercise on a regular basis. It is recommended that children and adults need 1hour of physical exertion daily. Benefits of physical activity include increased heart health, increased capacity for learning, helps control weight and prevents chronic disease, builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints, reduces stress and anxiety, and increases self-esteem. This means getting your heart rate up and your body moving; running, jumping rope, soccer, and freeze tag are all good examples. It is unknown exactly why exercise reduces ones risk of getting sick, but research suggests that consistent exercise gives the immune system a boost and may create more germ-fighting cells in the body. Another possibility is that exercise lowers stress hormones in the body that can weaken the body’s ability to fight off sickness. One thing that is known is that adults and children who exercise on a regular basis for 60min a day are less likely to get sick.
- Eat the Rainbow
Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients called antioxidants that build up the immune system. Each color has a role that it plays in good health. Foods that are yellow, orange, purple or blue are especially helpful in keeping the immune system strong. For optimum health, eat a diet complete with a wide variety of natural whole foods.
Something we all love but few of us get enough of, sleep. Researchers found that adults who sleep less than 6 hours a night are about four times more likely to catch a cold when they get the virus compared to those who get 7 hours of sleep a night. Children require even more sleep, think 10 or more hours per night. Refer back to the Sleeping Blog post from August 2016 to learn how much sleep your child requires to function fully and stay in optimal health.
Though there are no guarantees that doing all of these things will keep you and your family free from the sniffles, it is a good start. These four steps along with staying well hydrated will help you and your family be your best all year.