With Thanksgiving, months away and Christmas to follow and the change in time and weather can leave us at risk with everything that this time of year brings on. It is getting colder and people are getting sick from the spread of illnesses like colds, flu, and the Coronavirus. Then there is the stress that preparing for the holidays brings on and the celebrating that goes on. But you can stay healthy in unhealthy times.
First, you can start by getting plenty of rest. The time of sleep is the time that the body repairs itself and carries out much-needed bodily processes. You should get about 7 to 8 hours each night. It is not always practical to do so but you should get as much rest as you can. A tired, fatigued, body leans itself to a weakened immune system and thus allows those nasty bugs of cold and flu and the Coronavirus to invade our bodies and wreak havoc where they reside, the upper respiratory system, and other locations in the body. Also, rest is good for the psyche as well. A person that is well-rested is not as irritable as a rested one and they are usually happier and that adds another plus for the immune system.
Secondly, it is good to eat well-balanced nourishing meals. The vitamins and minerals you need to keep us healthy come from these foods as well as providing the fuel you need. Just like an automobile that needs the proper fuel to run efficiently, the body needs the proper foods to stay healthy. Be careful not to overload your body with a lot of sugary snacks, desserts, and drinks, and other junk foods that happen to be available at this time of year. Don't forget to drink enough water. Most times you may only think of drinking water in the spring and summer months when you perspire a lot. But remember the body still needs the same amount of water at all times. Most authorities suggest that drinking 8 8 ounce glasses of water each day is sufficient. Water is needed for a lot of metabolic activities that go on in the body. Don't forget the body loses water via several elimination pathways such as through the urinary tract, digestive tract, respiratory tract, and skin. Water is also important for the mucus membranes to stay soft, pliable, and intact. Don't forget your vitamins and supplements. Avoid overeating and over drinking. Don't forget to visit your local chiropractor for a complete spinal checkup and/or treatment that may be needed to keep your body free of spinal and other mal-alignments in the body that can hamper your body functions and well-being.
Don't stress over the activities and celebrations that this time of year brings on. Don't get worn down by all the places you have to go to and all the gifts you have to buy. The internet has done a lot concerning buying and traveling, just web browsing and surfing, and the pressing of a few keys is just about all you need to do. A lot of places even do gift wrapping. There are restaurants and other food establishments where you can order the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners already prepared and in some cases even delivered. And, when you have to go out, dress accordingly. Over exposing the body to a hostile environment can allow for entry of viruses and bacteria to enter the body through its pores.
Always practice good disease prevention techniques. Start with good hand washing. Handwashing with soap and water is the best single most action you can do to prevent the spreading of infections. Now with the advent of COVID-19, wear a mask (that covers the openings of the nose and the mouth), and practicing social distancing, (allowing at least 6 feet distance between individuals and avoiding large crowds), should be part of your disease prevention regime. When being the bearer of a cold of other URIs, avoid coughs or sneezes into the open airspace where others can come in contact with droplet spray and become infected. Use a tissue or a handkerchief to put over the mouth and nose to contain it. Wash hands after touching body parts that are infected to prevent self infection to other body tissues and systems and when leaving the bathroom and when administering to other infected individuals. Discard infected materials promptly. Use a clean paper towel to wipe off the knob of the bathroom doors when existing. Remember that using anti-bacteria hand solutions is not as effective as time-tested and proven hand washing, so as soon as time permits wash your hands. Washing the hands with soap and water while interlacing the fingers in a rubbing motion for about 20 seconds is recommended.
By doing all of these we can stay healthy in unhealthy times.
BY Ralph Burton, DC, DABCI, FAACP
Diplomate, Am Bd Chiro Int Fellow, Am Acad Chiro Phy Fellow, Am Bk Soc