Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

How to Stay Healthy

Eat antioxidant-rich foods, such as whole grain cereals, walnuts and artichokes, as well as foods packed with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. The antioxidants protect the body's tissues against stress and inflammation and enhance immune function. Omega-3 fatty acids promote blood flow and the production of anti-inflammatory substances, which also boost immune function.

Take a brisk walk every day. Any kind of moderate daily exercise - such as cycling, swimming or working out at the gym - can improve lung and immune function. Physical activity enhances the ability of T. lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack virus and cancer cells) to speed up the immune response. Don't get too over eager though, high-intensity exercise for two or more hours at a time increases stress hormones, which can lead to suppression of the immune system.

Stay at least three feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing. This will keep you outside the immediate spray of their germs. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. If you're not near a sink during the day or work in a high germ environment (like a school, medical office, etc.) carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you.

Drink a lot of water, get adequate sleep and get a flu shot. Staying well-hydrated keeps the tissues of the respiratory system moist and helps the immune system work properly. Sleep helps the body function at an optimym level. If you get seven to eight hours of rest a night, you'll be less likely to become sick and if you do catch something, you'll recover faster.

Stay home from work when you first feel ill. Work-related stress (plus the commuting back and forth) could slow your recovery.

When to See a Doctor

1. A high fever that is accompanied by marked dizziness or a stiff neck.

2. Trouble breathing, shortness of breath or chest pain.

3. Severe facial pain or pressure behind the eyes plus congestion.

4. A sore throat without a runny nose or a cough.

5. Cold symptoms - headache, nasal congestion, postnasal drip and sinus pressure - that last longer than about 10 days.

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