Posts Tagged ‘swine flue’

Keeping Yourself Well and Flu-free

April 28, 2009

For the past few days all we’ve been hearing about on the news is the dreaded Swine Flu. Thanks to all of the media hype, people are getting a bit panicky – running around buying facial masks and asking their doctors for prescriptions of tamiflu. Not to downplay the seriousness of the situation, but the best thing you can do to prevent the flu is to do what you should always do to prevent contagious illnesses – wash your hands frequently. Next to that the key to boosting your immune system is to take good care of yourself on a regular basis.

Fortunately, maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be time-intensive or expensive. In fact, when you take care of yourself, addressing key aspects of wellness, everything else just seems to fall in place. Conversely, it’s the chronic neglect of our health that results in health crises. What usually begins as a small problem develops into a costly and time-consuming nightmare of endless doctor’s visits and lab tests.

Many times in this blog I’ve written about the importance of consistency. Nowhere is this more crucial than in maintaining wellness. Read on to see which of the following key aspects of optimal living you address and/or neglect on a regular basis.

Exercise

Working out regularly reduces stress, controls your weight, enhances your mood, boosts your immune system, and, some research suggests, even improves your ability to process information. Experts recommend incorporating a variety of activities into your fitness program. For me, cross training has become a way of life. The bonus is my aquatic workouts, yoga postures and spinning classes have also enabled me to continue running relatively problem-free. They’re also so much fun that it doesn’t feel as though I’m working out even as I’m being challenged.

Optimal Nutrition

If you eat real, whole foods you don’t need to count calories or carbs. Plus, you get the necessary nutrients and fuel your body requires to function at its best. Convenience foods may be handy, but most are lacking in nutrients and leave you feeling dissatisfied after consuming them. Instead, substitute “fake” food for fuel in its most natural state; choose whole grains instead of energy bars, real eggs instead of egg beaters, a baked sweet potato instead of French fries.

Preventative Care

I’m convinced that if we spent more time and money preventing illness and injury, we’d spend a lot less money on general health care. Whether it’s acupuncture, chiropractic, massage or even psychotherapy, addressing your physical and emotional health on a regular basis shouldn’t be a luxury. Most people spend more thought and time taking care of their cars or their pets than their own bodies and minds.

Sleep

This is one of the most important components of wellness, but often the most neglected. It’s during deep sleep that your body’s cells do much of their regenerating. According to the sleep experts, one bad night’s sleep isn’t harmful, but chronic sleep loss can have negative effects on a host of physiological and cognitive processes. Making an effort to get your proverbial eight hours can have a profoundly positive effect on the rest of your life.

Don’t Wait For a Crisis

Just like you take your car in for regular maintenance to keep from needing major repairs, you need to keep your body finely “tuned”. If you wait to address your health needs until you can longer ignore them because of illness or injury, you’ll spend a lot more time and money than if you consistently take care of yourself. Bottom line: those that ignore their health today will pay for it tomorrow.

Be Well (and Stay Well),

Carolyn