Monday, October 31, 2016

How to Stay Healthy in the Winter

Happy Halloween! Halloween always reminds me the fall season is ending soon and that winter is on it's way. Bringing with it the dreaded seasonal sickness...

All seasons have pros and cons.  Fall season has leaves changing, trips to the Orchard, and our favorite pumpkin carving...

Andrew & I started dating Halloween weekend in 2012 and every year we carve pumpkins together! This year we did Judy Jetson & Bowser! What do you think?

While I love that  the winter season hosts many amazing family-filled holidays, it is also the hardest time of year for me.  Cold weather kills my lungs. I have my VogMask and tons of scarves my mother has crocheted (perk to having a crochet-crazy mama). But walking outside is still difficult. Yes, I have a treadmill. I have used it (once in a while). It's just not as fun as walking somewhere outside. So I have to push myself to stay on top of my exercise.

Exercise is crucial to my health and lung function. I saw the difference when I went from a sedentary lifestyle with lung function at 38%. I started walking/jogging and two years later I was up to 60%.  Keeping active is so important! Here are some things I do to stay active and focused:

  • Motivation: You need it. Find something. A thought that drives you. 

My motivation: I have a playlist with songs. One in particular reminds me of my friend Laura (who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis 2 years ago). Which reminds me how she would push me to be healthy and was always proud of my health achievements, even while she knew her time was running out. I have to live a full life, I have push myself, she would want me to. I also think of my future children. They need a healthy mom! I want to see my future kids grow up and grow old with Andrew. 

  • Routine or Reward System: Always exercising at like 6am or 1pm, whenever you have a break in your day can keep you on track. A reward system works too. Say if you exercise 4 days a week for 2 weeks you get a Starbucks drink :-) 
I struggle with Routine/Rewards the most. Andrew has such crazy scheduling for his jobs, I never know when my free time will be. Also, I struggle with the thought of spending money on rewards, when we are saving to start our family. I am having difficulty thinking of non-money related rewards. Any ideas??

  • Different Activities: Change up the exercise. You can stick to the same one if you prefer it, but I like changing it up. I get bored easily. Walk, bike, life weights, do a dance workout dvd, or bust out some Dance-Dance-Revolution.
I have found I prefer walking and dance work-outs. I do not own many dvds, but have found some I can stream from YouTube on the TV that I like. Find some on YouTube and make a list for them. 

Exercise is the number ONE focus, but winter is also the season of spreading colds, flus, and other illnesses. Try to limit your interaction with others that are sick, here are some tips I put together to stay healthy:

  • Use Germ-X: Yes, building up an tolerance to germs is important. But, here is when I use my antibacterial sanitizer.   
    • Whenever in a hospital or doctor's office
    • After using a public restroom ( especially if you have to touch door knobs)
    • When near anyone who ever seems sick
    • After touching grocery carts, etc.
    • I also keep Germ-X on my desk at work, in my purse, and a pump one at home.  
  • Sleep/Eating: Make sure you don't skip sleep, get a good amount. Also, eat healthy. I know in the winter we just want warm and comforting foods. But, don't forget vitamins & healthy options for snacks, etc.
  • Minimize Exposure & Share: We can't live in bubble or be afraid to leave the house. But by making sure all your friends, family, and co-workers know the importance of you not getting ill, it can help you avoid sickness.  
    • If a Co-Worker is sick when I'm in the office, they let me know and avoid getting close to me. By them telling me, I can make sure to Germ-X after touching the Copy machine etc. 
    • And while I love seeing family and friends. I LOVE them for texting ahead and rescheduling if they think are even slightly sick. It shows they care and understand. 
    • I try not to dodge people (as I get upset when people assume I'm sick). But, I do try to germ-x after near them or avoid super close contact. 
I'm very lucky I haven't been sick since April! My last hospitalization, antibiotics or steroids was in April 2016! So far so good. I know even following all my advice above, sometimes you can't avoid getting sick. I'm hoping to avoid it this winter (hoping Orkabmi helps boost my immune system), but we will have to see what happens! I just have to put some extra work into my health and hopefully I will see the reward!

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