October is known for fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween, but did you know it’s also Healthy Lung Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Respiratory Care Week. When the seasons begin to change, it is important to support your immune system despite the cooler weather and upsurge in colds and viruses.
Apart from taking daily vitamins to boost your immune system, there are plenty of other healthy approaches as well. By incorporating lifestyle habits a little bit every day, you can strengthen your immune system, respiratory system, and live a healthier life.
This isn’t anything new. Healthy living begins with regular exercise. It is easier said than done and working non-traditional hours doesn’t always help. But it’s important to make it a priority. Get started by blocking one 30-minutes each day that you can dedicate to moving your body, then set realistic exercise goals each month.
Once you start crushing your exercise goals, your motivation will continue to soar. Exercising regularly improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, controls body weight and protects your body from diseases. Exercise helps improve circulation and strengthens the tissue around your lungs helping them function more effortlessly.
Get Adequate Sleep
You could be working all kinds of hours as a medical professional, whether your shift is early in the morning or overnight. It’s important to schedule in 7-8 hours of sleep. Based on a recent study, quality sleep can bolster the T cells in your body that fight off infections. To combat infectious diseases, you need sleep. Long-term sleep deprivation also leads to obesity, diabetes, and heart and cardiovascular diseases. Check out these tips to Combat Sleeping Difficulties as a Healthcare Worker.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet rich in nutrients provides energy for staying active throughout the day, supports the immune system, and improves lung health, and who doesn’t want that? Your diet should consist of whole foods that contain adequate levels of protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and other health-promoting compounds. Some superfoods to consider are blueberries, broccoli, spinach, salmon, turmeric and more. In this article, you will find 15 Recipes That Can Help Strengthen Your Immune System.
Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration supports vital functions in your body and helps eliminate waste products. It is recommended that you drink 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water per day. In the fall and winter, drinking water is easy to forget but, it is just as essential as during the summer. Hydration aids flushing toxins from the body and boosts immunity. It is important to stay well hydrated each day to keep the mucosal linings in the lungs thin. The thinner lining makes the lungs more efficiently, making it easier to breathe and get sufficient oxygen your body requires to function properly.
Address and Manage Stress
Stress not only negatively impacts your sleep, but it can also suppress your immune system, reducing the number of white blood cells that work to fight infection. You can prevent, manage and reduce stress by practicing positive thinking, staying connected with others, using meditation techniques, and scheduling leisure activities. COVID-19 has put a lot of stress on healthcare workers and has created burnout. Here are 10 Ways to Reduce Stress and Practice Whole-Self-Care During a Pandemic.
Good Hygiene Practices
Working in the medical field, hand washing has always been a critical and regular practice. Even the slightest traces of germs, including bacteria and viruses can infect even the healthiest of people. Skin is an important organ acting as a barrier from germs, ultimately protecting your internal organs from disease. Wash up and keep it clean!
As a healthcare worker, you are used to taking care of others, but it is just as important to take care of yourself. These are just some everyday tips the help boost your immune system and lung health.
Though countless medical professionals work hard and are passionate about what they do, it is important for you to take regular breaks and time for yourself. As we prepare for a seasonal increase in respiratory illnesses, including another wave of COVID-19, we would like to send a special thank-you to respiratory therapists. They usually spend their time preparing for cold and flu season but are also navigating the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Share this blog with your fellow healthcare co-workers and stay healthy throughout the upcoming winter.