• Afro Social Centric

Tomorrow's Health Today. Tried and true expert advice for Preventative Physical Health.

If you’re tired of hearing about the drama that is 2020, we’re right there with you in being tired of talking about it. But how can we not with so much going on and changing daily. If you didn’t know, the mystery of a second wave seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and coming in tsunami style as the Covid-19 positive numbers keep increasing. So whether the second spike is happening now or soon soon, we need to level up our immune system in preparation for the bogo deal of Covid in cold and flu season. Lucky for you we consulted a healthcare expert to get you all prepared as we talked about all things preventative physical health.

Why preventative health care you ask? Well this African Proverb said it best, "Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”. If health and wellness is the aim of tomorrow, then your best bet is to put in some of that good ‘ol TLC today!

We spoke to a health expert, Pharmacist, Nneka Ezurike RPh, BScPharm, PharmD, CDE about all things preventative for optimal physical health in the midst of Cold and Flu season. Nneka has a passion for providing optimal pharmaceutical care along with a keen interest in fitness and wellness. Pharmacists provide accessible, knowledgeable front line service regarding all things medicine. We asked Nneka about top tips for keeping our physical health in check for this Cold and Flu season and she left us with these foolproof tips.

Tip number one of course was to talk to your doctor/pharmacist about the annual flu vaccine. Did you know that pharmacists can provide a variety of vaccinations including flu shots? With the looming flu season, we can appreciate that you have questions about the flu shot and other health concerns. Whether you regularly get the annual flu vaccination or not, consider having a conversation with your health care professional today to make a well-informed decision.

Secondly, wash your hands! And wash regularly. The recommendation is with soap and water or when soap and water is unavailable use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to include washing your palms, back of each hand, between fingers, thumbs, and under nails.

A great rule of thumb is singing ‘Happy Birthday’ while washing your hands for the entire duration which usually takes about 20-30 seconds.

Washing your hands is the preferred method to keep your hands clean; especially if they are visibly soiled; but if unavailable, use hand sanitizer.

Now don't go touching just anything with your so fresh and so clean hands. Which leads to number two, making sure to also keep surfaces clean. Do this by frequently cleaning surfaces with a disinfectant. Health Canada has a list that is continuously updated of evidence-based disinfectants and cleaning products shown to be effective against viruses (likely including Covid-19) that can be used in public and household environments - we got you business owners!

Number three, boost your immune system by integrating some essential habits into your everyday life such as physical activity, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, maintaining a good sleep pattern, and reducing stress.

As a firm believer in the power of nutrition and fitness, Nneka emphasizes eating a healthy balanced diet and engaging in moderate exercise as part of your preventative health routine. A healthy active lifestyle has a plethora of health benefits and protection against the annual cold and flu is just one of them! Adults should aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise and weight-bearing exercises at least twice per week to achieve health benefits. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of many diseases, promotes quality sleep and can reduce stress.

When it comes to nutrition, Nneka recommends eating a healthy balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, protein-rich foods, and whole grains. Vegetables and fruits are a great source of minerals and vitamins needed for the body that play a role to help the immune system function optimally.

And when the itis hits after that nutritious meal- let it take you! Good sleep is an essential contributor to a healthy immune system. Practice good sleep hygiene for an optimal 7-9 hour sleep...yes, all at once! Some tips include maintaining a consistent bedtime/wake time, avoid caffeine/nicotine/alcohol before bed, reducing screen time/electronics before bed, practice relaxation and stress reduction techniques (reading, hot bath), and have an optimal sleeping environment (reduce noise/distracting lights, keep the temperature on the cooler side, keep the bedroom for sleep and intimate activity only, etc.).

When it comes to hydration, pumpkin spice lattes are cute but they have nothing on some good ‘ol H2O. The recommended water intake varies depending on your lifestyle, environment, and overall health but the common recommendation of 8 (250ml/fl oz) glasses a day is a good starting point that everyone remembers.

Fourth and equally extremely important, be mindful of your mental health and reduce your stress. We know that health is not health without mental health - more on this in our November issue on Mental Wellbein so make sure to sign up for our newsletter.

And of course, it may seem played out at this point but the best measures to protect yourself during these unprecedented times is to avoid large groups, practice physical distancing (at least 6 feet away), cover your mouth AND nose with a face mask or covering, and avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. If you feel unwell, seek medical attention/ talk to your doctor immediately, rest, and focus on recover. And if you are sick, remember to stay home and limit your contact with others.

We encourage you to take a preventative approach, reach out to your primary care provider and to also utilize your local pharmacy team to help you manage your health care needs.

We are so blessed to have knowledgeable, accessible front line workers that are there to answer your questions, and provide the expert advice to help you take care of your physical health.

On a final note, remember to be kind to others and to yourself .

- Your ASC Connect