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Blog posts tagged with 'hydration'

Community Immunity: Protecting Against Seasonal Germs

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Community Immunity: Protecting Against Seasonal GermsAs summer recedes into the rearview mirror, fall seems just around the corner. For many, the changing of seasons signals a time where children go back to school, the daytime gets shorter, and the weather makes a cooler turn as the winter months approach. This is also a time where protecting your immune system is vital for your health and the health of your community.

Surfaces, Germs, People, and More Germs!

Most people tend to focus on kids spreading germs in school, but the reality is, adults—especially older citizens—need to understand the importance of good sanitation and immune system protection just as much as their younger counterparts.

One of the easiest—yet often overlooked—ways of keeping clean is habitually washing your hands. Have a family of four? That’s eight hands touching the same doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, remote controls, light switches, and more. Frequent hand washing throughout the day defends against spreading germs and bacteria. And while public drinking fountains are traditional staples at many schools, gyms, and parks, they can also harbor germs. Getting in the habit of using a personal water bottle can eliminate the need for community sharing (and the spreading of germs) at places like drinking fountains or faucets. Carrying tissues and hand sanitizers, as well as properly learning how to cover a sneeze (if no tissue is available, use the crook of your elbow) can be crucial steps in teaching children how to stay healthy for their own sake and for the people around them.

The Health of Your Community Starts with You

Seasonal changes can often put added stress on your immune system, so here are some personal tips for protecting your immune health:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet – Research indicates that proper nutrition helps strengthen your immune system.
  • Get plenty of restful sleep – While you sleep your immune system is busy rebuilding and repairing itself.
  • Wash your hands regularly – Proper hand washing with water and soap is the most effective barrier against the spread of germs. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends rubbing your hands for an average of 20 seconds.
  • Build up healthy intestinal bacteria – Good bacteria help keep bad bacteria at bay as 70% of the immune system resides in your large intestine.
  • Protect your living area – When cooking, be aware of cross contamination, look out for areas of mold in your house, and keep surface areas (doorknobs, tables, bathroom tiles, and kitchen countertops) clean.

Building up your immune system should be a daily priority. Being aware of personal hygiene can be the difference between a healthy community and a common illness. You can’t always be sure when you are completely protected from microscopic immune system zappers, but you can help defend against their spreading by taking the necessary steps to protect your immune system by practicing better cleanliness habits.


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Stay Cool All Year Round by Staying Hydrated

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Stay Cool All Year Round by Staying HydratedOne of the easiest ways of regulating your body temperature, boosting athletic performance, and detoxing your body doesn't involve special exercises or supplements—all you have to do is drink more water. Most people tend to pay more attention to hydration during the hot summer months, but dehydration doesn't only happen in the heat waves of summer; it can happen anytime of the year to anyone at any age. Staying hydrated supports your alertness and helps control your appetite. Water is also important for healthy skin, hair, and nails; controlling your heart rate and blood pressure; and supporting healthy kidney function, which is why it's important to monitor your fluid intake throughout your lifetime.

Creative Ways to Get Your Fluids

Given that the human body is about 60% water, it's little wonder why hydration is so vital to everyday health. As a general rule, most physicians and nutritionists recommend drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses (or 1.9 liters) of water daily. The Institute of Medicine has stated that a more accurate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) while women should drink 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Athletes and people who spend a lot of time outdoors require more fluids because of water loss through sweating. There are plenty of ways to stay hydrated without relying solely on water. Juices and sports drinks can help you maintain your fluid levels whilst providing added nutrients and electrolytes. Fruits such as watermelons, oranges, grapefruit, and honeydew also have high water content. However, sports drinks and fruit juices also contain sugar, so take them in moderation. If there's ever any doubt about the sugar or caloric content of a beverage, nothing beats water as your purest method of hydration.

A Drink for All Occasions

While humidity and summer heat make it vital for staying hydrated, replenishing your body's fluids is important all year round. Whether you're sitting at a desk in the middle of winter or exercising in the fall, your daily hydration is vital to remaining healthy. Similar to how dieters keep food logs to track their calories, you can keep a water log by storing a marked container of water in the refrigerator to keep track of how much water you've consumed each day. Keeping hydrated, while seemingly the simplest of tasks, can be easily forgotten and the signs of dehydration are not often obvious. Whether you're young, elderly, moderately active, or a professional sportsperson, keeping your body properly hydrated is an important task in supporting daily health.

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