Tips to Staying Healthy for a Lifetime

March 30, 2020
I have never had a problem finding a health topic to write about until now. The health of the Nation is changing so fast that I am wondering if what I am about to write in early March will even be relevant by the time this article goes to print. Yes, I am referring to the causative factor of the daily changes, the CoronaVirus, otherwise known as Covid-19. Knowing that life for all of us will be continually changing over the next weeks and/or months I decided to re-read my previous newsletter articles and see if I could summarize how to care for one’s health in good times and bad.  As I write, I consider myself to be healthy, have not had symptoms of a cold or Covid - 19 and pray that all of those whom I love (that includes you) are not and will not be victims of this virus. While you continue to try to be safe from Covid-19, do yourself a favor and focus on How to Stay Healthy for A Lifetime! 
I have talked about how to stay healthy in a variety of ways in Southeastern E-News articles that I have written for several years. If you would like to re-read any of those articles, many remain filed on the ELCA Southeastern Synod website under E-News.
In summary, here are my tips:
  • Enhance your diet by filling your plate ½ full with fruits and vegetables.  Starchy potatoes do not count due to their high sugar level.  You will be adding vitamins, minerals, fiber and water to your diet with fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook more meals at home from “scratch” to avoid excess sugar, salt, fat, and calories.
  • Limit the amount of sugar that you use and drink water instead of canned and bottled drinks.  Don’t kid yourself that diet soda is better for you! No! Diet soda is sweet, full of chemicals and makes you want more sugar when you drink it.
  • Drink water!
  • Floss daily, brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours each night and take a nap if you need to do so.
  • Reduce stress by finding a way to relax using the method that works for you.
  • Ladies, do a monthly self-breast exam.  Men also are not immune to breast cancer.
  • Exercise; walk, run, dance, get moving and challenge yourself and your family to do so!
  • Get outside for fresh air and sunshine.  Remember to wear sunscreen when needed.
  • Listen to music, play music, or if you once played an instrument get it out and start practicing; you will get better at playing! 
  • Know your BMI (body mass index) and blood pressure.  If these numbers are not where they should be, work to get them right.
  • Know what immunizations you and each family member should have and get immunized!
  • Don’t smoke! Vaping is smoking! Both will compromise your health!
  • Take antibiotics only when needed for a bacterial infection! Use non-antibiotic soap for everyday handwashing! You will be helping yourself and others by reducing antibiotic resistance from overuse of antibiotics.
  • Reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals not only in your home but where you work and exercise (the gym).  If you do not know what is used to clean, inquire. 
  • Aid the environment with less plastic, less paper, more recycling, and cleaning products that are environmentally friendly.
  • Wash your hands properly and often to reduce the spread of everyday germs!
  • Pray for the health of the World!  
  • Slow down and be kind to those around you!
It is not too late to get a flu shot!
Cornelia Pearson, RN, MN
Member, St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Franklin, TN