Carmel Health

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wise Up This Winter

This is a guest post from a recent graduate from my Health class. Jessica T is now in Journalism and she wrote a health related article for the latest edition of "Crossroads".

Sick and tired of being sick and tired? As the temperature drops, so do our immune systems. Follow these healthy tweaks to amp up during the cold and flu season.

Chicken soup
Chicken soup helps break up congestion and hot chicken vapors have been proven more effective than hot water vapors in clearing out the cold in your nose.

Stay hydrated with water
Our body works best when it is hydrated. "If we lose body fluids due to sickness then it would make sense to drink water", Health teacher Andrew Milne said. "These same fluids might also reduce congestion." Stay away from diuretics such as tea and coffee. Diuretics increase the excretion of water from the body.

Grapefruits are a good source of Vitamin C. It strengthens the immune system. It can cure a fever and is rich in fiber.
*Try sprinkling it with a pinch of sugar.

Q & A with Health teacher Andrew Milne
Q. Why do people get sick during the winter?
A. There's no real scientific reason as to why this might happen. There is less sunlight, and so we produce less Vitamin D, which may affect our immune system. Another theory is that we spend more time indoors, and so we are exposed to other people's germs more frequently.

Q. How does the weather affect our health?
A. I'm going to be so bold as to suggest that it doesn't. Germs survive less in cold environments so theoretically there should be less germs about.

Q. What can we do to prevent / lessen the risks of colds & flus?
A. I recommend boosting your immune system with Vitamin C and Zinc. Stay away from people that have colds and flu. If you have a cold or flu, sneeze into fabric instead of on your hands or uncovered. Wash hands frequently so that you don't contaminate surfaces. If you are sick - stay at home.
Tip from nurse Kathy Hunter - take a can give your immune system that extra 'boost' needed to stay healthy.

Q. Ways to stay physically fit this winter?
A. Stick to your normal fitness routine. If the weather allows, get outside - fresh air and sunlight are in short supply this time of year! Get a group of friends together so that you can motivate each other to stay fit. And yes - playing the Wii and similar games can help you burn calories.

What do you think of Jessica's article? Do you or your family have any tips for staying healthy during the winter months. Please post your thoughts or give Jessica some feedback.

1 comment:

  1. Jess,

    Good article! Very informative, shows and explains the people the best way to live a healthy life during the winter. Thought I would comment being your best friend and all.

    Brian Kearns