Health Tip of the Month
From flu prevention to weight management to mental health- we’ve got you covered to having a safe, healthy, and fun winter!
One in six people will get the flu this year —why be one of them?
November brings out the viruses and bacteria. Common-sense practices can minimize your risk of catching (or spreading) all those upper-respiratory ailments. For instance, if you’re sneezing and coughing or feeling feverish, don’t be the Grinch who brings it to work or school or the birthday party. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
Food poisoning happens a lot at holiday time. Cases of E. coli or salmonella can result if you’re not totally scrupulous about food-prep safety. All of your “fresh” vegetables and fruits need to be rinsed, even if the packaging says “triple washed.” Use separate knives and cutting boards for vegetables and for meats/seafood/dairy when you prepare multi-course holiday meals. Wipe down counters and wash your hands after handling raw meat, seafood or eggs.
How are your cholesterol and blood sugar levels? Your blood pressure and weight?
Get a head start on your New Year’s resolution and commit to not over-indulging in November. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Cut back on eating or drinking anything that came out of a drive-thru window. If you’re invited to a feast, fill up on healthy nibbles and water beforehand. At holiday meals, half-fill your plate with multi-colored vegetables before you reach for the bread basket, mashed potatoes or gravy.
It’s not all in your head!
Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a real medical condition. Daylight Saving Time ended on November 2— your body’s biochemical rhythms will get thrown off as a result. Our access to Vitamin D-rich sunshine gets shorter, and many people will feel inexplicably moody or almost jet-lagged as a result. Eat foods that can boost your mood (fish, dark greens, citrus fruits, beans, tomatoes, squashes), and cut back on carbs and alcohol. Take advantage of available daylight by working or walking outdoors at midday. Turn off electronic devices several hours before bedtime — their dim “blue” light disrupts your brain’s sleep patterns.
De-Stress With Meditation
The bad weather, the seasonal pace, work: If this time of year has your stress meter spiking, it may be time to close your eyes, breathe … and get a little repetitive. Repetition is at the heart of meditation‘s soothing power. The act of banishing thoughts, focusing on your breathing, and repeating a single word or phrase fires up your body’s natural relaxation response.
Meditation can do more than soothe away stress. Research shows it may help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, and reduce PMS symptoms.
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