Now that the Olympics are over, there’s still time for one more long lazy summer weekend, or even a week off before school starts and businesses rev up again. I’ve been seeing lots of patients who are reaching burn out, not from sunburn, but from overwork.
If you’re planning any kind of trip or you’re more in the mood for Stay Cation (rhymes with Vacation), in these last lazy days of summer, I have a few tips for staying healthy Whether it’s a family reunion, a weekend wedding, another trip to the theme park or just heading to the mall for back to school shopping, chances are you’ll be encountering lots of people you haven’t seen before and lots of chances to pick up that end of summer cold or flu. The last thing anyone needs is to get sick.
Here’s 7 simple and surprising strategies for staying healthy in the last lazy days of summer:
Get your ZZZZ’s – There’s abundant research that shows that children under 12 need at least 10 hours of sleep each night and adults do best with 7-8. Sleep helps our immune systems restore and refresh, enabling them to work at their best to protect us from colds, virus and the flu.
- If you’re traveling, schedule downtime for the whole family. Plan on lazy afternoons or sleeping in and skipping a few hurried activities. Everyone will feel better and more relaxed when there’s less scheduling and more leisurely days or evenings.
- Now that the Olympics are over, a few early evenings to bed will help everyone feel more refreshed and relaxed.
Go for Sweet Potato Fries – Research has shown that our skin needs plenty of Vitamin A to provide our body’s first line of defense against colds, bacteria, viruses and the flu. Vitamin A is converted from the beta-carotene found in fruits and vegetables with deep orange tones. Other good sources are cantaloupes, carrots and pumpkin.
Get up off the Couch – Did you know that as little as 10-20 minutes of exercise each day can decrease your likelihood of catching a cold by as much as 50% ? Exercise helps our immune system function better and helps ward off colds and flu. Bike riding, hiking, swimming and walking around the block are just as effective as marathon running. Now there’s no excuse.
Halo Antiseptic Spray – This is a new oral antiseptic spray that just came out on the market and is like a virtual mask, protecting you from the germs in the air. I used it all summer as did my 16 year old, who’s a swim coach and exposed to billions of germs from the minnows, sharks and dolphins he coaches. Neither of us got sick this summer, which is unusual. This innovative and safe, over the counter spray has a patent-pending technology that coats the back of the throat where it blocks and kills 99.9% of the germs that cause colds and flu. 3 quick sprays everyday will help keep the germs away. Here’s the website for more information.
Garlic Breath – We used to think that people who ate garlic didn’t catch colds or the flu, because others kept their distance and there were fewer germs that were transferred between them. We now know that garlic contains aliin, which may have antibiotic like actions in fighting off germs. A British study showed that people who ate garlic regularly were 2/3 less likely to have a cold or flu. So, try pesto pizza, garlic bread, ceasar salad or add a few extra crushed cloves to your spaghetti sauce.
Get Cultured – There are some foods and supplements that contain beneficial and helpful bacteria that keep us healthy. Yogurt, Kefir and Probiotics all contain helpful, immune boosting Lactobacilli and/or Bifidobacteria. These help keep the pH of our gastro-intestinal system healthy as well as help our bodies make protective antibodies. If you have a lactose intolerance look for a probiotic supplement.
Be a Hot Mama or Papa! - Surprisingly enough, sex is a great way to boost your immunity. Research has found that people who have sex regularly have higher levels of certain antibodies that fight off infection. So, even if you’re tired, think about a fun way to stay healthier throughout the year.
Disclosure: I was intrigued when I heard about Halo oral antiseptic and asked to try it while I poured over the scientific data on how it works to catch and kill 99.9% of infectious germs. I was impressed by the science, the safety and how easy it is to use. I'm delighted to be working with the Halo team to spread the word, not the germs.