Getting sick is no one’s idea of a good time. It can seem, however, that occasionally falling ill is inevitable. While it’s true that there is nothing you can do to completely avoid catching a case of the sniffles or suffering a stomach bug, there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of falling ill frequently.
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Through lifestyle modification and attention to your overall health, you can bolster your wellness and reduce the frequency with which you get sick.
1. Eat A Healthy, Balanced Breakfast
Do you know why they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Because it is! Starting your day off right with a balanced breakfast containing an assortment of whole foods is one of the best things you can do for your body. Create a mixture of protein, whole grains and fruits or vegetables to build a breakfast that will do your body good.
2. Stay Active
Particularly when you’re busy, finding time to move can seem nearly impossible. Don’t skimp out on exercise opportunities. Aim to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day for a minimum of six times a week.
If you’re super busy, you can break this up into smaller chunks, taking a ten-minute walk around the parking lot after lunch and doing a twenty-minute round of yoga at day’s end. No matter what you do or how you do it, you will benefit from this activity.
3. Exercise Your Brain
Your body isn’t the only thing that needs exercise. Giving your brain a workout is just as important. Select a brain workout that you enjoy. For some people, it’s a crossword puzzle. Others like Words with Friends; still others appreciate Sudoku.
Make it a point to engage in your brain buster of choice daily if possible or at least a few times a week. While these leisure activities may seem simple and mundane, they are actually tremendously important, as research shows that regular participation can stave off mental decline, according to Gary Small MD, author of “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program.”
Make focusing on yourself a priority with meditation. By taking time out to quietly contemplate and reconnect with your inner self, you can keep yourself strong in both mind and body. Select a quiet room with natural light as your meditation space of choice. Sequester yourself for as long as you can – at least 10 minutes – and really connect with yourself.
5. Take Your Vitamins
Even if you try your best to eat a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, you are probably missing out on some of the basics. Instead of continually fighting to get these vitamins in via your diet, turn to supplements.
Take a multivitamin at the start of each day. If you find that you’re deficient in any vitamin in particular – the only way you would really know this is if your doctor tells you – supplement with that vitamin in isolation.
6. Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand
Many people, eager to win the battle of the bulge, mistakenly cut way too far back on calories. In doing so, they give up snacking altogether. While it’s true that fatty and sugary snacks are your enemy, snacking in general serves a purpose.
By snacking throughout the day you reduce your likelihood of binging. You also keep your metabolism going. Keep a selection of healthy snacks on hand, taking them to work or school with you, so you can feed your body right when you feel hungry.
7. Take Care Of Your Teeth
You have more reasons than just your fear of the dentist to really take care of those choppers. If you don’t properly care for your teeth, you increase the risk of experiencing oral infections.
Although it may seem that these infections would remain where they originated – in your mouth – they rarely do. These infections can hitch a ride in your bloodstream and spread all over your body. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, brush after every meal and floss daily.
8. Protect Your Skin
The sun’s rays are quite tempting, particularly if you’ve always loved sporting a tan. But they aren’t good for your health. Skin cancer is a serious and very avoidable condition. Protect your skin by wearing long sleeves, pants and hats when you’re out at the height of the day – between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
If you want to shed some layers, slather on protection in the form of sunscreen. Pick a sunscreen that is 15 SPF or higher. While you’re at it, protect your eyes from the sun as well, selecting sunglasses with UV blocking properties.
9. Sleep Tight
While you most likely fought naps as a little one, if you’re like most adults the opportunity to close your eyes and catch a snooze now probably seems wonderful. Don’t make the mistake that many do and steal hours from sleep time to catch up on tasks.
Sleeping regularly – a minimum of eight hours a night – is tremendously important to your overall well-being. Make your slumber time sacred so you don’t miss out.
Also, make your sleep more meaningful by setting the stage for deep sleep. Keep your room dark, quiet and generally restful so you actually sleep through the night, as uninterrupted as possible.
10. Drink Up
Water is good for you. Drinking enough water is vital to keeping your body performing at its peak. Keep a water bottle on hand at all times so you can sip away throughout the day. If you’re not a fan of plain water, spruce it up with some fruits or veggie slices.
Not only do these additions add a touch of flavor, but they also add some nutrients to this already powerful beverage.
11. Practice Moderation
You don’t have to give up all of your vices to stay healthy. If you want to indulge in alcohol, you can do so. You simply have to practice moderation. There are lots of reasons why alcohol consumption can pose risks, not the least of which is the risk of addiction. You can reduce your likelihood of suffering these ill-effects by monitoring your drinking and limiting yourself.
Also, make sure to drink smart. Never binge drink, as doing so substantially increases your risk of experiencing negative effects. Also, if you’re going to drink away from home, arrange a ride ahead of time to ensure that you don’t end up stranded.
12. Take A Break When Illness Threatens
Everyone knows the feeling – you get a tickle in your throat or pressure in your sinuses or general stomach unease. It means that a full-blown illness is on the way. While it might seem that it’s too late to do anything, you actually can.
As soon as you feel an illness coming on, head to bed. Force yourself into hibernation, sleeping for at least nine hours. This prolonged period of sleep can be restorative, giving your body the energy it needs to fight off the illness before it worsens.