Back to School and Back to Germs – Hints to Break the Cycle

by on August 1st, 2011 at 7:00 am

The start of the fall semester, regardless of the age of the student, seems to inevitably coincide with a higher prevalence of illness. Children are often very susceptible to illness because their immune systems are not yet developed. In addition, young children may times have poor hygiene habits, including not properly washing their hands, frequently touching their noses and mouths, and sharing toys.

Exposure to other children, who may have the same habits, compounds their vulnerability to illness. Children tend to bring these illnesses home, thus infecting the entire household!

Drinking lots of fluids and fresh juices of citrus fruits and taking Vitamin C are helpful home remedies. Teas made with ginger root help in controlling a runny nose and promote gastrointestinal functions. Echinacea, one of the most prominent herbs for immune system, is known to fight viruses and infection.

If you’d rather kick off the school year without the coughing, sneezing and other symptoms that commonly accompany a cold, be sure to follow the 3-prong approach to staying healthy this season!

Nutritious Diet + Regular Exercise + Stress Relief = Stronger Immunity

1. Eat well. Back to school means less free time, which means that we’re more likely to grab unhealthy fast food than plan for a balanced, nutritious meal. However, even though it may take a little extra time to plan a healthy lunch or dinner, it’ll pay off in the long-run to help fill the body with proper “fuel”. Not only will it provide more energy, but a healthy diet filled with anti-oxidant rich fruits and veggies will help keep immunity strong.

A healthy diet is also very important for children to promote growth and development. Eating less refined sugars and artificial fillers may also help enhance concentration and reduce hyperactivity, as studies have shown that diet may in fact play a significant role in managing ADHD symptoms.

Vitamins A, C and E are most essential for maintaining immune system health. Garlic is perhaps the oldest cultivated plant in the world and its history as an effective herbal antibiotic and a booster for the immune system. Zinc is another element that is essential for immunity. Peanuts, peanut butter, legumes, dark meat of chicken, beef and lamb are excellent sources of zinc.

2. Get moving. Exercise speeds up the rate at which the body removes waste products, which helps flush the system of bacteria and germs. Increased sweating also helps detox the body. A 30 minute walk daily or 10 minutes of brisk walking three times a day can improve your health, reduce weight and keep your immune system in good condition.

For children, exercise is a great outlet for release after being pent-up in a school desk all day, and also helps offset the risk of developing obesity. Exercise is therefore a vital component to health, at any age!


3. Stress less. Along with tip #2, exercise also is a great stress reliever. As many of us can relate, when we are stressed, we are more likely to have compromised immunity. Extended stress is especially harmful and can often have lasting effects on both physical and emotional health.


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One Response to “Back to School and Back to Germs – Hints to Break the Cycle”

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