Who wants to be sick? At the very least, an illness is an inconvenience and an expense. You not only feel bad, but when you are sick, you may not be able to go to work, earn any money, or look after your responsibilities. You may even need someone to look you, and you may have to pay for expensive medicines and treatment.
Well, it has been said that “Prevention is better than cure.” Some illness cannot be avoided. Still, there is much you can do to slow down or even prevent the onset of illness. Let me show you five secrets healthy people know that you too can do today to get on the road to better health.
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One of the best ways to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands. One of the easiest ways to catch a cold or influenza is to rub your nose or your eyes when your hands have been contaminated by germs. Your best defense against such contamination is to wash your hands regularly. Good hygiene can also prevent the spread of more serious conditions, such as pneumonia and diarrheal diseases, which every year causes the death of two million children under the age of five. Even the spread of deadly Ebola can be minimized by the simple habit of washing hands.
There are certain times when hand washing is particularly important to protect your own health and that of others. You should wash your hands:
- After using the toilet.
- After changing diapers.
- Before and after preparing, serving, or eating food.
- After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
- After touching an animal or animal waste.
- After handling garbage.
Do not take it for granted that you are cleaning your hands properly.
Good health is impossible without good food, and for a good nutrition you need a healthy, balanced diet. You may need to consider your intakes of salts, fats, and sugar, and you should watch your portion sizes. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet, and vary what you eat.
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If you eat too many sugar and solid fats, you risk becoming overweight. To minimize this risk, drink water instead of sweet beverages. Eat more fruit instead of sugary desserts. Limit your intake of solids fats from such items as sausages, meat, butter, cakes, cheese, and cookies. And instead of using solid fats for cooking, you may want to use healthier oils.
Too much salt, or sodium, in the diet can raise your blood pressure to an unhealthy level. Instead of using salt, use herbs and spices to flavor your meals.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person. Most newborns sleep for 16 to 18 hours a day, toddlers about 14 hours, and preschoolers about 11 or 12. School-age children generally need at least 10 hours of sleep, adolescents perhaps 9 or 10, and adults from 7 to 8.
Getting the right amount of rest should not be considered optional. Insufficient sleep has been linked to obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and tragic accidents. Surely these give us good reason to want to get enough sleep.
So what can you do if you realize that you have a problem getting enough sleep?
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Make your bedroom quiet, dark, relaxing, and neither too warm nor too cold.
- Do not watch TV or use gadget while in bed.
- Avoid unhealthy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
The kind of physical activity that is right for you depend on your age and your health, so it would be wise to consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. According to various recommendations, children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity every day. Adults should get 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week.
USE SAFE WATER SUPPLY
Obtaining sufficient clean water for one’s family is a regular chore in some countries. Yet, access to clean water can become a concern in any part of the world when a main supply that is usually good to drink becomes contaminated as a result of anthropogenic activities, such as smoke from industries or waste by humans; or by natural sources like a flood, a storm, a pipe break, or some other issue. If water does not come from a safe source or is not stored correctly, it can cause a parasite infestation, as well as cholera, life-threatening diarrhea, typhoid, hepatitis, and other infections. Unsafe drinking water is one of the causes of diarrheal disease every year.
Cholera is most often contracted when a person drinks water or eats food that is contaminated with fecal matter from infected people. What steps can you take to protect yourself, even in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, from this and other types of water contamination?
- Ensure that all your drinking water – including the water used for brushing teeth, making ice, washing food and dishes, or cooking – comes from a safe source, such as an adequately treated public supply or sealed bottles from a reputable firm.
- If there is any possibility that your piped supply has been contaminated, boil your water before use or treat it with an appropriate chemical product.
- When using chemicals, such as chlorine or water-purifying tablets, follow the maker’s directions carefully.
- Use qualify water filters, if available and affordable.
- If no water-treatment products are available, add household bleach, two drops per liter of water, mix well, and then let the water stand for 30 minutes before using it.
- Always store treated water in clean, covered containers to protect it from possible re-contamination.
- Ensure that any vessel used to take water from your stored supply, such as a ladle, is clean.
- Handle water container with clean hands, and do not dip your hands or fingers into water used for drinking.