When you sit down and think about how many germs there are all around us, it’s crazy. It almost makes me wonder how we stay healthy at all. But, thankfully the presence of germs doesn’t automatically make us sick. There are some things we can do to help keep healthy all year long.
So instead of getting sick, let’s talk about some easy ways to keep our health in tip-top shape – all year long.
Tips to Stay Healthy All Year Long
Now, part of staying healthy is knowing which common illnesses are out and about each time of the year.
For example, during the winter it’s common for the flu (read about flu symptoms here) and colds (here’s how to manage them) to spread like crazy. During the summer and beginning of each school year, it seems like stomach bugs are everywhere. Even so, here are some ways to keep those bugs at bay – after the obligatory disclaimer.
Tip 1: Focus on Eating Just One More Serving of Fruits and Vegetables Every Day
Look – eating a balanced diet is important. Why? Because those fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients (like vitamins and minerals) your body needs to run at peak performance AND fight off germs.
Eating fresh foods is always the best way to get those nutrients, too – they’re easier and more natural for your body to digest. Plus, they taste delicious. So if today’s healthier choice is adding in one more serving of fruit and a vegetable, go for it. Because seriously – some days the thought of eating 1,562 servings of vegetables can be a tad overwhelming.
You’re helping yourself stay healthier.
Tip 2: The Easy Trick to Drink Enough Water
Drinking water is a great way to keep healthier all year long. That’s because our bodies require water to function!
Here are some of the ways that drinking water helps our bodies:
- Water helps our bodies flush out toxins via both our urine and our fecal matter (poop, y’all. It’s poop).
- Cells require water to function properly – and to move nutrients across the cellular barriers.
- Forget sugar – water is the medicine that your body really needs to help the nutrients get absorbed!
- Every organ requires healthy cells to work properly, so even the ones that are passively absorbing it need water, too.
- Water is life, y’all.
I know that several different organizations recommend X number of cups of water each day – but I’ve found a great gauge. Ready?
Drink enough water that you’re not thirsty. Keep track of how much that is. Drink about that much every day.
- If it’s a crazy high amount of water, talk to your doctor. Because too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
- If it’s a very low number and you’re still thirsty all the time? It’s too low unless your doctor said otherwise. Try drinking more water and see how that goes.
- Keeping track will help your health, y’all. So keep track.
Pro tip: Try to limit how many sodas and juices you’re drinking. They may be tasty, but… that’s a lot of calories, y’all. What you need is a good ole’ H2O (water).
Tip 3: How to Exercise on a Regular Basis – Get up and Move Every Day!
Our bodies were designed to be moving and going every day. So exercise is essential for great health!
Exercising is amazing. Sure, it’s a lot of hard work – but here’s what that hard work gets you:
- Exercising releases endorphins that raise your mood – and your mental and emotional health.
- Being active and using muscles activates your lymphatic system (that’s how your body was designed!), which helps flush your body of various toxins.
- Exercising outdoors gives you extra boosts of sunlight (Hello, Vitamin D!) and fresh air.
- Regular activity and exercise can strengthen our muscles and vital organs (like our heart and lungs). That way, they run better, longer, and more smoothly — best tune-up ever, y’all.
In other words, get out and move. Even if it’s just a little bit each day, it’ll start adding up. And soon you’ll see big improvements!
Tip 4: Why I Go to Bed at 9 PM: to Rest and Get Plenty of Sleep!
Working all of the time seems like a great idea – until you think about this:
In order for our bodies to recover so that we can keep working, rest and sleep are important. After all, that’s when our bodies recover and ingrain what we’ve learned. So if you want to be more efficient, effective, and amazing, make sure you’re getting the rest, recovery, and sleep you need.
Being sleep deprived in particular is awful – in many cognitive areas it’s akin to being drunk. In fact, drowsy driving has been shown to be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
And, when you’re sleep deprived, your body’s natural defenses to germs is significantly lowered. In other words, you’re more likely to catch that nasty virus and get sick.
So try and get enough sleep – it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel when you do!
And yes, I really do go to bed at about 9 PM – some nights it’s closer to 10, but still. I feel so much better when I get enough sleep!
Tip 5: If Your Kids are Picky Eaters, Have Them Take Vitamins and Supplements
Look – if you can get your nutrition via natural and whole foods, that’s the best route. However, that’s not always possible.
For example, my picky eaters will only eat certain foods – and so I make sure they take regular vitamins and supplements. After all, I want my kids to grow up healthy and strong.
So while we’re working on expanding their menus, they also take a daily multivitamin. Because that way, I’m not stressed about making sure they eat every fruit and veggie on their plates – and we can instead focus on making meals a pleasant experience.
That way, they’ll learn to eat new foods on their own – rather than getting stressed out about being forced into it and resenting broccoli for the rest of their lives.
Other supplements you may want to consider beyond a multivitamin include:
- A daily probiotic to get the right balance of helpful and healthy bacteria in your gut
- Vitamin C to boost your immune system
- Vitamin D to increase immune function
Do be careful with fat-soluble vitamins, though, as those can become dangerous if taken in too high a dose. When in doubt, talk to your doctor – especially about your kids’ vitamins and supplements.
How to Stay Healthy All Year by Season
Now, let’s take a super-quick look at some health tips by season – just so you’ve got all the tips!
Living Healthy During the Spring
In order to stay healthier during the spring, remember the five above tips. Then, remember that it’s the tail end of flu and cold season. So keep being vigilant about hand-washing and avoiding sick people when and where you can.
Then, get outside and enjoy being outdoors responsibly. Just remember to play it safe – because summer is trauma season in the emergency department.
Germ Watch: Watch for various germs like hand foot and mouth disease, flu, colds, and stomach bugs.
Keeping Healthy During the Summer
During the summer, be aware of activities you’re participating in. And then enjoy them as safely and responsibly as possible.
After all, summer is when we’re outdoors, being active, or going on family vacations. Just remember to wear appropriate gear, use seat belts, and have fun while keeping your cool.
Germ Watch: Common illnesses going around in the summer include gastro (stomach) bugs that make you have nasty vomiting and diarrhea.
Healthier Living During the Fall
Fall is back to school time – and lots of germs getting passed around. Instead, pass around those “how to wash your hands!” tips and lots of hand sanitizer.
Also be aware of any school sports – so get a school physical and ask for advice on treating common sports injuries at home.
Germ Watch: Watch for various germs like colds, stomach bugs, and rashes like hand-foot-mouth.
Staying Healthy During the Winter
Winter in Utah is a secondary trauma season – what with all of the snow sports. So if you’re going to enjoy some sledding or skiing, do so while being a smartypants about it. Hint: wear a helmet!
Winter is also the start of flu and cold season – so make sure you’re washing hands and avoiding sick people. Or if you are the sick person, try to limit how many germs you’re sharing. Ideally, stay home and rest.
Germ Watch: Influenza (flu) and colds are everywhere – so be careful.
One Final Health Tip and Reminder…
Staying healthy during the year doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, it’s all about the small, daily habits you build to live and be healthier.
So make the small choices. Choose to eat a healthier option. Select an enjoyable form of exercise. Get enough rest. Drink enough water – and maybe add a squeeze of lemon for a kick of flavor – and extra Vitamin C!
All of these small habits and choices add up quick – and you’ll be able to keep your body in tip-top shape.
- Not a fan of the whole “eat healthy” recommendation? Dang. That’s a bummer. Because what you eat affects how you sleep – and those Oreos (while delicious) are probably why I keep dreaming about zombies chasing me.
- Living healthy doesn’t mean you’ll be able to avoid every injury. And that’s totally normal – so make sure you’re first aid savvy and that your first aid kit is stocked and ready to go with these free first aid tips and checklist.
- Oh – and be careful when plunging the toilet. It’s dangerous for your health. At least it was for mine – or if you’ve already got a diastasis recti, read on about how you can manage it with style.