A couple of weeks ago I shared some thoughts on what I've been doing to avoid getting sick this winter season. After posting this article I was having a conversation with my friend and go-to health guy, Dr. DiBacco, about verifying the health-related decisions I make in my life. I asked Dr. DiBacco, who you've met in previous posts, if what I was doing was smart and if he'd be willing to share any additional advice to make my habits even better. Read below for Dr. DiBacco's always-humorous outlook on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
1. Take Your Vitamins (I take C and Zinc)
Both Vitamin C and Zinc have shown benefits for fighting colds, so you're definitely on the right track here. Two caveats: Typically, we can only absorb 500mg of vitamin C per dose. If you can, try to take your daily 1000mg vitamin C supplement in two separate doses. And, taking zinc has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of cold symptoms, but it works best if you start taking it immediately at the onset of sniffles. Keep it handy and devotedly down it at the first sign of trouble.
2. Get Your Sleep (I aim for 8 Hours)
Not getting enough sleep stresses your body. A stressed body is more susceptible to invading bacteria and a bad attitude. So yes, absolutely get your sleep. Don't just do it for yourself, do it for those around you.
3. Wash Your Hands (I wash them constantly)
I'd put "wash your hands" as number one. Your clinically significant obsession with hand washing is the number one reason you stay healthy. Keep it up!
4. Take a Probiotic (I take one every day)
Yes to probiotics! Like the one here, more and more studies are showing benefits for probiotics beyond just gut harmony.
5. Use a Humidifier (I use one every night)
"I'm neutral on humidifiers. Maybe because I live in one giant humidifier called Atlanta. However, if you live in a more arid climate a humidifier can be of some benefit. If nothing else, it can keep the mucous lining of your respiratory system ooey and gooey. Ooey and gooey mucous is our first line of defense against things that wish to make us sick.
6. Have Sex (as often as I'd like)
Thanks Renee, but men have known this all along. For years we've been saying regular sex boosts the immune system and provides various other health benefits that we can't think of right now because you look hot...Is it possible we can just include sex on every "good for you” list? Or at least mandate inclusion of known benefits of regular sex in every edition of every woman's magazine published within the U.S.? Perhaps even a continuous ticker along the bottom of the O network...
Signing Off Verifying My Good Habits,
Renee & Dan
Dan DiBacco, PharmD, MBA, is a practicing pharmacist in Atlanta. He specializes in nutrition and diet. Follow his musings and advice at essentialsofnutrition.com. If you have questions you would like to pose to Dan regarding your supplement intake or other nutrition and diet related issues please ask them in the comment box below.