Moms Can't Afford to Get Sick: 5 Tips on Staying Healthy

Health & Wellness on 04.28.11
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Photo Credit: Sarah Fernandez

The only thing worse than being sick is being sick and being a mom. When kids are sick they get to stay home from school, and have mom nurse them to health. When dads are sick, they crawl into bed or onto the couch, and don't move until they feel at least 110%. When mom's are sick, they get up, get the kids out the door (if they have to) or continue to find ways to entertain them at home, make sure everyone is fed three meals, make sure everyone is signed up for what they need to be signed up for, school fundraiser forms are returned, and just about everything else still gets done. Oh, and did I mention that they still usually keep working too? I think I work pretty hard at staying healthy. My kids and husband have been passing hacking coughs and runny noses back and forth all winter, and I have managed to avoid it. Now that the weather is getting warmer, they all seem to be feeling better, but I got smacked with the cough two days ago that has since turned into the stuffy and runny nose. I would quite happily crawl into bed with a good book right now, but there is too much to be done. I wondered what else I could have done to ward off getting sick, and here are a few tips I found.

Get Plenty of Sleep

According to eHow Health, the body needs six to eight hours of sleep to fight off infection and avoid illnesses such as a cold or the flu. I'm pretty sure this is actually what did me in. With my kids' home on school vacation last week, I was working late past midnight every night and still getting up early with them. I was exhausted starting this week off, and I'm paying for it now.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

It's no secret that colds and other illnesses are spread via germs and germs are typically spread by all the things we touch throughout the day from door handles at daycare to gas pumps to grocery carts. Wash your hands frequently or carry hand sanitizer for when you are in busy public places to reduce your risk of getting sick. And make sure you don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth after you've been exposed to a lot of germs.

Get Physical

A study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that adults aged 18 to 85 that exercised five or more days per week were 43% less likely to get sick than their sedentary counterparts. People who exercised at higher intensity saw even more health benefits.

Drink Lots of Fluids

Why wait until you are sick to try to flush the illness from your system? According to keeping yourself well hydrated helps push the germs through your system quickly which gives them less time to spread in your system.

Eat Healthy

If you feed yourself healthy foods, you'll build your immune system. Eating the healthy foods might not prevent the cold altogether, but it will give your body the best chance it's got at helping you fight the germs. Check out WebMD's list of 15 Immune Boosting Foods to help get you off on the right foot.


So is it any surprise that I got sick? I guess not. While I eat healthy and wash my hands regularly, I rarely get enough sleep, enough exercise or enough fluids. We may not be able to totally prevent catching a cold, but there are a lot of things we can do to reduce the effects of it. Taking the time to make the effort up front is worth avoiding the desire to crawl under a rock when every mom knows that isn't an option.

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