Tips to stay healthy this winter

CAC_Dec2018_proof Tips To Stay Healthy This Winter Winter’s cold weather marks the start of cabin fever and, sometimes, unwanted maladies. To keep these at bay, here are five tips that give people the ammunition to be healthy and well during this frigid season. Getting enough sleep Sleep is important for our bodies for many reasons. Not only is it how we recharge our energy stores, it also helps recharge our immune systems. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep, six to eight hours per night, helps maintain our defenses against common illnesses. Staying properly hydrated The air is drier in winter, therefore, your nose and skin will feel that same sensation. To be hydrated, drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day. If you drink coffee or tea, add another glass of water for each caffeinated beverage. Sleep with a warm mist humidifier running. Be physically fit Regular exercise is important to maintain good health. It improves cardiovascular health and our immune system and makes our bodies better at fighting illness. We can’t always avoid contact with viruses and bacteria, so maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system equips our bodies to resist and fight illness if we are exposed. Eating whole, real foods Whole, real foods have more nutritional content and fewer calories. Protein keeps you fuller. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where you can find and select meats, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Save the treats for special occasions such as holiday parties. The upper hand on hygiene Hand hygiene is one of our first defenses against illness. Cold and flu viruses are rampant in the winter when we’re cooped up in closed spaces. We may not be able to control what viruses we get exposed to, but we can help reduce the risk that those viruses will have a chance to invade. Frequent hand washing is vital to control that risk. Sources: Zach LaMaster, D.O., Advocate Medical Group - Ravenswood Family Medicine, Chicago Sharon Millas, specialist trainer at Wicker Park, Chicago Athletic Clubs