Fortunately I am not a person who gets common winter illnesses. In the last 24 years, I can only recall being very sick with a cold or flu only twice. Living a healthy life should be an important focus as we age. Here are my top 10 tips for staying healthy!
I DO pay attention to how my body feels. When I’m stressed, tired, cranky and run down, I stop and take note. Then I apply all my remedies that so I can get back on track. There are several challenges we all have to keeping healthy~~lack of sleep, not eating properly, traveling, being around sick people and the list goes on and on.
Have a Strong Immune System
First and foremost, BUILD your immune system. There are so many germs and viruses out there and a weakened immunity system is a magnet to the nasty things in our environment. Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Here is the link to some immune boosters you may want to investigate.
A Healthy Gut is a Must
2. Have a healthy gut. A healthy gut = a strong immune system. Keep away from high sugar, processed foods. With the holidays it’s easy to consume lots of sweets and alcohol. It is okay to do that occasionally but make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet in between.
3. Do you take a probiotic? If not, you may want to do your research on probiotics as they may affect you differently. Here is the probiotic (Metagenics UltraFlora Control) I take daily (click here). Other selections of probiotics are available on Amazon as well. Research which one may be the best for you.
Part of having a healthy gut and a strong immune system is getting enough Vitamin C and E and eating a high fiber diet. I take Emergen-C Vitamin C supplement in a glass of water when I’m under the weather and always when I travel (link here).
Wash Your Hands
4. Wash your hands. I have trained myself that the minute I get home, the first thing I do is head for the kitchen sink and wash my hands.
Nearby is a tube of hand cream and Thayer’s Witch Hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent, which means it can help tighten skin and slow down signs of aging such as discoloration, redness, and dryness. So I wash my hands, apply some witch hazel and then hand cream….and repeat often.
Use a Hankie or Elbow
If you have to sneeze, do so into a hankie, Kleenex or your elbow. Do not sneeze into your hands. I remember going into a business meeting and the client sneezed into his hand and then wanted to shake mine. I was so grossed out and just wanted to bathe myself in hand sanitizer. To see my attempt on bringing back hankies, click here. Do carry hand sanitizer. I order mine from Grove Collaborative and love the Blood Orange scent (click here) or get a similar one from Amazon here.
Do Not Touch Your Face
5. Don’t touch your face! My mother would always reprimand us if we touched our faces. “Use the back of your hand!”, she would say. If you nose itches, use the back of your hand. Has your hair fallen in your face? Push it away with the back of your hand. The front of your hands are receptacles for bacteria.
Wipe Frequently Used Surfaces
6. Wipe down your frequently touched items. How often do you sanitize the steering wheel to your car? Your front door knob? Your computer keyboard? The surface of your cell phone?
Think of all the things you touch during the course of the day. If someone in our house is sick or has been sick, I wipe everything down with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. I even take a small bag of them when I travel and wipe off the airplane seatbelt clasp and tray table.
My Personal Remedies
7. This works for me. The MINUTE I feel stuffy, off, or run down, I take Oil of Oregano. Oil of oregano is an antioxidant, it kills bacteria and has many other remedies. Not all Oil of Oregano is the same. It is extremely important that you make sure you take oil of oregano and not essential oil of oregano. Read the dosage carefully and get a high quality one.
Gaia was rated one of the best on the market (click here) and I am also trying Mortar and Pestle (lesser dosage and cheaper). Oil of oregano does comes in both capsules or a liquid with a dropper. I prefer the capsules because taking the liquid version straight (under the tongue and hold it there for as long as possible) is a bit brutal, but highly effective.
8. Stay hydrated. I am never very far away from a bottle or glass of water. It is a bit harder to keep hydrated during the winter vs. the summer, but make sure you get your fair share of H2O in daily. It really helps to flush things along. I start each day with a big glass of water. It helps to fill a pitcher of water and add cucumber, lemons or strawberries to make it a little more exciting. At the end of the day, the pitcher should be empty.
9. Exercise. You don’t have to be a gym rat but keep moving. The human body is the only machine, that if not used, will break down. Even if you aren’t feeling well, attempt some stretches and walks. Being sedentary is the new smoking. Personally, I take Pilates 2x a week and try to get to the gym 3 days a week. Weekends are for walks or bike rides. I put it on my calendar like a very important appointment that I try never to cancel.
Get Your Zzzzs
10. Get a good night’s sleep. I have a reminder on my phone when it is time for me to go to bed. Generally it goes off about an hour before I want to be asleep. Having a night time ritual helps me a great deal. Listening to a Calm bedtime story before bed puts me to sleep immediately. I also take Dr. Pierpaoli’s MZS melatonin (click here) just before I go to bed (generally between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.). This melatonin doesn’t make me feel groggy at all and has helped with my sleep cycles.
Lastly, these recommendations are just that…..recommendations. You should always do your own research and/or consult with your physician. I do not have any underlying medical issues that interfere with any of the products mentioned above. But we are all different so please proceed carefully in taking any kind of supplement, herb or medication.
And of course there is always the debate on flu shot or no flu shot. Personally I have never had a flu shot because I work so hard to keep my immune system strong.
What do you do to keep healthy during the change of seasons? If everyone sends me their suggestions and remedies, then perhaps I can compile a list that we can all share.
Stay healthy, my friends! Happy Saturday!
If you click on some of the product links, I may get a small stipend for those at no cost to you. Thank you!