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3 Key Strategies to Help Stay Healthy and Ward Off Viruses
By: Matt Weik
While we aren’t kids anymore and don’t believe in cooties, the fact is, many illnesses are being spread due to people not focusing on proper cleanliness. The simplest of things are being forgotten which can cause all of us to become susceptible to various viruses and illnesses that can land us at the doctor’s office or worse – the hospital.
Below, you will find a few tips you need to practice and implement immediately (if you aren’t already) to help stay healthy and prevent yourself from getting sick – and ultimately lowering the chance for you to spread viruses to everyone around you.
How often are you washing your hands? You do wash your hands, right? These two things alone can cut down on your risk of contracting viruses. Make sure you are washing your hands throughout the day. Make it a habit and do it religiously. Regardless of where you are (the gym, the office, or out shopping), you are coming in contact with potential germs and communicable viruses.
When you wash your hands, be sure to use soap and warm water. Lather up and be sure to wash all the way up to your wrists, making sure to thoroughly wash between all of your fingers extremely well. When drying, use a little strategy. Use your elbow to push the dryer button. If you need to use a hand crank to get out a paper towel, do so before washing your hands and get an additional towel that you can use to open the door. The door handle can be full of bacteria that can quite easily cause the spread of viruses from those who do not wash their hands.
Did you know that proper hydration plays a role in preventing viruses? That’s even more reason to drink water on top of the known hydration benefits. When you aren’t properly hydrated, the membranes of your mouth and nose can become broken and are therefore susceptible to allowing bacteria to enter and do harm – ultimately causing viruses to easily enter your body and cause you to get sick.
When you stay hydrated, you can help your body rid itself of harmful bacteria that can be transmitted through everyday activities such as breathing, coughing, or sneezing. A good tip to prevent this from happening is to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go as a reminder to continually sip from it throughout the day. Once you finish the bottle of water, either grab another bottle or if you have a refillable water bottle, simply refill it.
When it comes to the food you eat, you want to consume foods that are dense in micronutrients – vitamins and minerals. As I’m sure you have heard time and time again, micronutrients play a key role in immunity and overall health. In order to help ward off viruses and take in adequate amounts of micronutrients, you’re going to want to make sure you’re eating green leafy vegetables.
In addition, probiotics should also be prioritized. What many fail to realize is that your gut health plays a vital role in your overall immunity and when probiotics are introduced, it can enhance your immune system and fight off viruses. The healthy bacteria found in probiotics and essentially in the gut, help fight off infections and other bad bacteria that can cause you to fall ill.
The fight against viruses and bacteria is a never-ending battle. Be sure you are prepared by utilizing the tips mentioned above to stay healthy and help your body function optimally.
Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Owner of Weik Fitness, LLC
Fitness & Supplement Expert | Author