Thursday, February 21, 2019

10 Tips to Stay Well

We asked Clinton County Health Department (CCHD) staff for their advice on staying well during this long winter stretch. They answered the call in droves and we have created our top 10 Tips to Stay Well. Follow all of the tips or focus on one; they are as unique as we are!

Wash your hands
Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry. Whether you are sick or not, wash your hands often, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Good hand hygiene can help protect you, your family and others against the spread of germs this flu season.
Get fresh air
We spend 90% of our life indoors but getting outside can have a positive effect on our physical and mental health. Sunshine boosts your vitamin D levels and the light can improve your mood. Spending time outdoors may also help to improve your concentration. And you can’t beat the view! Bundle up and explore the North Country this winter.

Stay physically active
“I don’t have time. It’s too expensive. I’m tired. It’s too cold” The excuses keep coming. Only half of adults are meeting the guidelines for physical activity. In addition to preventing chronic illnesses, exercise can improve your mental health and sleep patterns. This is especially important during the winter months, as we tend to be less active. Any amount of physical activity can benefit your health; move more, sit less. Drop your excuses – utilize breaks in your day, no matter how short, to get your body moving.

Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water during the day whether at work or play. The amount of water you consume each day can play an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Being dehydrated can lead to fatigue, decrease alertness and concentration. Pick out a fun, reusable bottle and start hydrating today!

Stay curious
Lifelong learning is good for your health. You should exercise your brain just as you would exercise your muscles. Keeping your brain active may help reduce your risk of developing dementia. Feeling stuck inside this winter? Pick up a new hobby, learn a new language or take a class that interests you.

Get your flu shot
A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Everyone 6 months or older should get a flu shot each year. Not only can it reduce flu illnesses, it also reduces doctors’ visits, and missed work or school due to flu. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s not too late! As long as the flu virus is still circulating, you can get yourself, or your family, vaccinated. Talk to your doctor today.
Eat your fruits and veggies
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers. Make sure to eat a rainbow; different colored fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients important to your body’s overall health. These antioxidants, vitamins and minerals will help keep your immune system fine-tuned for fighting off all the germs circulating this time of year.

Laugh more
Laughter is the best medicine! It can brighten and lighten your day as well as relieve stress and soothe tension. Over time it can even improve your immune system and relieve pain. If life gets you down, try to find a bit of humor in it. Don’t let the winter blues get you down. Surround yourself with positive people and reminders to stay positive.

Cover your cough
Coughing and sneezing? Keep your germs to yourself by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue handy, cough into your elbow. Always wash your hands immediately after. If you do get sick, stay home to prevent spreading your illness to others.

Wear sunscreen
Even during the winter, it takes only 15 minutes for the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to damage your skin. Snow reflects the sun’s rays, which can increase your chance of getting burned. Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you go outside all year long.

Stay well this winter!

CCHD Staff