Friday, December 28, 2012

10 Tips to Staying Healthy

Hi everyone.. I felt this was long overdue - a post about staying healthy!  As a teacher, I am sure you know as well as I do, that our classrooms and schools are infested with germs.  Once a few students get hit with the common cold, flu, strep, stomach bug, or any other sickness, it is a domino effect, and it spreads like wildfire.  I pride myself with a great immune system, and have not been sick in any way shape or form in two years until recently.  And if I had done my normal routine and put the holidays aside for a minute, I probably still would be in pretty good shape. 
These are tips that are more likely to STOP your illnesses than to follow in your everyday life... so please keep that in mind!
*I do want to say for the record that I am in no way shape or form a doctor or have a degree in health education.  This is just based on my experiences and what has worked for me and only suggestions to help keep the sicknesses away from you*

1. Wash your hands!
     I cannot emphasize that enough.. even though we are so busy helping students with directions, cleaning glue spills, and trying to find our insanity, germs are EVERYWHERE.  Just because we cannot see them, doesn't mean we can't forget about them! If you are like myself and do not have a sink in your classroom, then buy hand sanitizer.  Works great and is convenient.  To get your students to love it as well, I buy fun hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works.  Our latest favorite is Twisted Peppermint.  It makes killing germs fun (and smells so yummy!)

2.   Airborne or Emergen-C
     When I start to feel sick, that little tickle in my throat or that slight ache in my bones, I take an airborne in the morning, and I am all set.  It usually does the trick, but the key is, not to take it all the time.  If you have not heard of Airborne before, it is a dietary supplement that is enriched with vitamins, herbs, electrolytes, and antioxidants that was actually created by a school teacher.  Her name was Victoria Knight-McDowell.  I do want to say that this product seems to help my immune system, but by no means will get rid of my sickness - so this is something just to take BEFORE you are hit with that big sickness to fight it... and I only take ONE every once in a great, great while! I have never taken Emergen-C, but I can imagine it does the same thing helping boost your immune system :)
Effervescent Lemon-Lime Immune Support Supplement Tablets, Lemon-Lime
3. Lots and lots of fluids
     Something that keeps my throat happy (especially if it is beginning to get scratchy), is liquids.  I will tell you, the last thing that I want to drink when I am sick (or getting sick) is water, but it really is good for you.. it seems to break up the mucus and basically just flush out my system.  I usually mix between drinking water, and my other go-to drinks: ginger ale (for stomach aches and/or sore throats), powerade or gatorade (after not eating for a while, I feel I need a boost of electrolytes), and hot tea with honey (soothes your throat and is just all around good for you).
I don't know about you, but when I get sick, the last thing I need is caffeine.. so I usually have decaf tea - I do not love the taste of tea, so I usually stick with my plain lemon or orange tea, but green tea is even better for you!

4. Vitamin C Drops
     If I just need a quick fix and just feeling a little off, tired, and blah, then I turn to Halls Vitamin C drops (Or the CVS brand works the same thing! Any generics work... Save your money$) One drop and it soothes my throat and gives me a nice fruit burst of Vitamin C.  Don't overdo it though! It will give you dry mouth, and too much Vitamin C has been known not to be the best for people.
5. Don't always go to medicine!
     Sometimes when you get a fever, you just need to let it ride sometimes.  When you get a fever, it's because your body is trying to fight an infection of some sort.  If my fever is low, I normally will let it ride and let my body "do it's thing".   However, if I need something, I will use ibuprofen or aleve to fight aches and fevers.  I do not use tylenol or aspirin - a big no no! I already have been known for high liver enzymes, and that would just put me over the edge.  Ibuprofen and aleve are safer on the liver!
6. Stay positive and don't get depressed
     I know it sounds silly, but this is a big one.  This is actually how I got sick most recently from being upset and letting it drag on... and BOOM. Next day, chills and aches.  Honestly, your body needs to be your friend, and you need to take care of yourself.  Your immune system will shut down, and the germs and viruses will begin to force its way through.  Every one in my entire school except maybe 2 or 3 teachers were sick (including me) until that.. and it really does matter!! XOXO Stay positive and surround yourself with happy people or support :) 
7. Eat smart
    Know your body, and if your stomach is not settled, do not rush into a big meal.  Take it easy with bland foods (they say the BRAT diet - bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).  I usually stick to crackers, popsicles, toast, and my mom has taught me over the years, eggs! Make sure you always eat a variety of foods because it will help you all around to stay healthy throughout the year.
8. Stay active
     Physical activity makes you feel good and gets your organs and blood moving.  This is a tip to only do when you are NOT sick though.. because if you strain yourself too much, you will be in danger of getting yourself sicker than you would have.  Rest is most important when you are sick, but physical activity (even yoga stretches) can help your body be happy and stay healthy.  I have to work on this one more.. but when I do workout, it makes me feel good too :)
9. Keep warm and do not take baths
     If you feel like you are getting sick, you need to bundle up.  Even the smallest chill can hurt your case... A long time ago when I was sick with a 103 fever, I finally got better after a few days, and when I wasn't 100% yet, I decided to take a hot bath.  I caught a chill from it and the next day, I was back to a 102 fever and just as sick as I was.  I had to start all over... and it's not fun!
10. Sleep is your best friend!
     I cannot tell you how important this step is.  If you cannot do any of the above steps, then only do this one.  Your body needs rest.  We all run, run, run (trust me, I have never relaxed a day in my life!) but when I feel a little run down or starting to get sick, 95% of the time, I just need a good night's sleep (or nap).  Trust me :) Your body will thank you!
I hope these tips have helped you as they have helped me over the years.  Stay healthy, fellow bloggers and teachers!

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