Spring is nearly here, and I’m sure you’re doing your best to stay healthy and happy as the nicer weather approaches, right? Unfortunately, therein lies the problem. Staying healthy can be quite a chore during the cooler months, when everyone is huddled inside. Especially during the changing of the seasons, colds seem to creep up this time of year.
If you’re like me, you’re trying to avoid the coughing, sneezing, and sniffling that seem to follow you wherever you go. It’s hard work, but worth it in the end. Luckily, there are a few tried and true things you can do to avoid the latest bug floating around. Follow these simple recommendations and you’ll stay healthier than most!
- Wash your hands frequently. This is by far one of the best things you can do to prevent illness, but make sure you have plenty of moisturizer handy. Nobody wants to get sick, but having cracked, dry hands is no picnic itself.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This should go without saying, but most people have no idea how often they do it. It’s an unconscious habit for many, and essentially lets viruses in the proverbial front door.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Cold viruses thrive in dry conditions, so depriving yourself of fluids is not the way to go. Plus, dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and other issues—and who wants that?
- Get plenty of sleep. Inadequate rest can depress your immune system, so be sure to get seven to nine hours each night. After all, who doesn’t feel better when they’re well rested?
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These guys are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that keep us healthy and vibrant. Try to vary it up as much as possible and aim for eight to ten servings per day.
- Take a daily multivitamin/ mineral supplement. Though it’s recommended, most people simply don’t eat a balanced and varied diet each day, and a supplement can help fill in the gaps.
- Get a flu shot. Having a head cold is one thing, but having the flu is something entirely different. Why not protect yourself by getting a flu shot each and every year? I know some people are skeptical about its effectiveness, but the fact remains, most physicians recommend it to their patients.
- Avoid sick people! This is arguably the most effective way to avoid illness, though it can be a challenge, especially if you have kids. Just try to avoid close contact with sick family members and friends—you’ll be glad you did!
What other tips do you have to stay healthy? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Brian Zehetner, MS,RD,CSSD,CSCS, wrote this post for Together Counts™ on behalf of Anytime Fitness. Known as the “science guy,” Brian serves as the Director of Anytime Health for the Anytime Fitness Franchise System. He is a registered dietitian, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and board certified sports dietitian with over 15 years of experience in the nutrition and fitness industries.