I really value the dividends paid by paying attention to even the smallest portions of our health needs. My body has been a blunderland since a bus accident in December 2018 left me with a myriad of issues: cervical spine disc protrusion, spinal misalignment, a worsened tonsillar ectopia and what’s known as a syrinx. Plus, I just had surgery. In short, I seem to have had an eventful health situation over the past year and a half.
That said, this current COVID-19 crisis has led me to some important reconsiderations of my health and well-being, and those thoughts have led me to a broader consideration of the importance of staying healthy and avoiding unnecessary health risks. I mean, sure, I have had a bit of solid food since my surgery when I should have waited until two weeks after surgery, so risk is my middle name! That does not mean health is discardable. Here are some tips to give you a bit of a boost this summer.
Stay hydrated, but…
Hydration is super important, I can’t even stress this enough. Yet, at the same time, are you drinking water correctly? Often we find ourselves drinking a large quantity of water all at once, generally neglecting to drink water later on or waiting until the end of the day to drink all of that day’s missed water. Do not do this! Well, yes, drink water, but please space it out. By establishing a routine, you’re less likely to forget to drink water during the day.
Sunburns are terrible, but the very real risk of heat exhaustion can lead you into the hospital when hospital capacity is most needed. Consider loose, light-colored clothing, sunscreen and, looking back at the preceding paragraph, stay hydrated. Also, consider limiting your exposure to the sun to less than an hour at a time.
It’s odd to have to say this, but making sure you take time to take in deep breaths is vital. Lung capacity isn’t just about general fitness, it’s also about the basic exercise of inhaling to increase and maintain capacity.
Don’t ignore health issues due to COVID-19
There’s a distinct fear—a reasonable one, honestly—that has arisen among the general population to try to put aside health concerns due to the risk of contracting COVID-19 by heading to hospitals or urgent care. While COVID-19 is obviously concentrated in hospitals, like any infectious disease there are isolation and care protocols in place. Your risk is extremely low and it is far more dangerous to your health to let a potentially catastrophic health issue balloon because you are concerned about infection.
Social distancing isn’t so bad
There’s a generally meaningful discourse that comes up around mental health issues with long-term isolation, but it’s equally important to recognize that you run immense risk of infection from even meeting with your social groups. Not hanging out with friends isn’t the worst thing right now, though, and if surging COVID-19 cases prove anything, it is the value of friends and keeping them alive. It is not hyperbolic to suggest there is a danger inherent in assuming all is well when it comes to your friends right now, even if you trust them. Trust the science, keep your distance.
Finally, wash your hands and wear a mask
Wearing a mask and washing your hands seem deceptively simple as far as health management goes. The idea you can ward off a major infectious disease with something as simple as cloth and soap begs belief, but the science has become clear. Now that epidemiologists are aware of the size of droplets in transmission of COVID-19, the utility of both preventative measures—hand-washing and masks—are now more clear than ever.