The days are growing longer, the daffodils are about to bloom and the sun is shining. It’s a great time to get outside, right? Not if you’re sneezing, congested and so tired you can barely get out of bed. Nothing takes the spring out of your step faster than feeling lousy when you should be enjoying all this time of year has to offer. Here are some strategies for staying healthy and avoiding illnesses related to the change in weather:
You have to fuel your body well if you expect to stay healthy. But what does this mean? It certainly does not mean to fill it with fried foods and fast food and all the sweets you can find. It means that you should eat plenty of lean meats and fresh vegetables. It means that maybe your dessert should consist of fruits. Maybe you should stop with the excess sugar. The healthier your food, the stronger it's going to be, and the less likely you are to suffer illness this fall.
Don't Fight the Sleep
Most people don't get enough sleep. It's almost a fact of life. But sleep is critical! And it's especially important if you want to keep your immune system strong. You have to stop fighting the sleep this season. Go to bed on time, and stop staying awake to binge the next season on Netflix. Though it will take some work to change your habits, it will be well worth it when you make it through the fall without serious illness or feeling rundown.
Stay Warm and Dry
This is the time of year when the weather turns colder. In Texas, you never know when that's going to happen. But when it does, you need to be prepared. Pull out the coats and jackets and sweaters. Make sure your gloves and hats are where you can find them. Staying warm and dry in bad weather can help keep you from catching a chill and initiating illness in your life.
Remember Mom’s advice.
Always wash your hands when you get home. One of the reasons we tend to get sick this time of the year is because, with the worst of winter behind us and the sun peeking out, we tend to be out and about more. But the increased social interaction brings increased exposure to germs. The take-home? Be just as vigilant as you were during the peak of winter about washing your hands.
Dry nasal passages and a dry throat are an invitation for bacteria to stick around. Start your day with a glass of room-temperature water and the juice of half a lemon. It’s good for digestion and the vitamin C helps you recover from colds faster.
The benefits of breaking a sweat are twofold. First of all, several studies—including this one by the British Journal of Sports Medicine—show that physical activity can help prevent or lessen the duration of a cold. Perhaps more importantly, it’s well known that working out helps manage stress which, in turn, keeps your immune system strong.
The fall is often a time of sickness and sniffles and colds and other ailments. But does it have to be? Use these tips to keep you and your family healthy this season, and enjoy the fun of the season and holidays ahead with your health and strength intact.