Editor’s note: In light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy and maintain hygiene. Read on for ways to stay healthy and avoid coronavirus disease and other viral infections.
Meet Dr. Redcross
Dr. Redcross (yes, that’s his real name!) is a practicing internal medicine physician who specializes in “concierge medicine,” which allows him to take as much time as necessary to treat his patients for their medical problems and build the important patient-doctor relationship, leading to deeper healing and better healthcare outcomes.
I asked Dr. Redcross his tips for staying healthy and avoiding sickness this year.
Tips for Staying Healthy
People are sick everywhere I turn. What are your favorite tips for staying healthy?
- Make sure to consciously think about what you eat and drink (your body is a machine so provide it with good fuel).
- Reduce stress.
- Get lots of sleep (CDC recommends ~7hrs/day).
- Stay active. Try for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of high-intensity exercise.
If someone in your home is sick, are there things you can do to prevent getting sick yourself?
In my home, we typically prefer options that are “closer to the earth” as opposed to prescription medications. One of my favorites is Oscillococcinum, a natural homeopathic remedy that has been used for decades in Europe to decrease the severity and duration of flu-like symptoms when taken within the first 48 hrs. It is backed by studies, and has no side effects, is safe for children 2 years of age and older and does not cause drowsiness like so many other over-the-counter cold remedies.
What about if people are sick at the office? How do you protect yourself?
The most important thing is to wash your hands with soap and water (consider singing Happy Birthday twice to ensure adequate time) or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. This keeps your hands from passing a virus or bacteria to yourself by rubbing your nose, mouth or eyes after unknowingly touching an infected surface. Lastly, do your best to politely avoid those who are actively sick or exhibiting signs of illness (coughing, sneezing, etc.).
When the seasons change, do you change the supplements that you take?
I make sure to stock up on Vitamin D. There is a strong likelihood that you are not getting enough Vitamin D from the sun or dietary sources, especially during winter months. Fatty fish are the better sources, but fortified milk is statistically very low in Vitamin D. Certain groups of people are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency, including adults 55 years and older, office workers (due to spending countless hours indoors), people with darker skin tones, vegans and vegetarians, people with BMI > than 30, chronic headache sufferers, those on certain prescription medications and patients diagnosed with arthritis, fibromyalgia, IBD or depression. The Centers for Disease Control labels Vitamin D deficiency as the third most common nutrient deficiency in America and as a “nutrient of concern.” Patients can go to their doctor for a Vitamin D test, or some prefer to test their own levels at home with a home test kit.
Do you do anything special to avoid getting sick when you travel or commute on public transportation?
I carry antibacterial wipes to wipe down tray tables and video screens on flights. Remember, the flu can live up to 24 hours on hard surfaces!
What are the remedies that everyone should have in their medicine cabinet?
1) Oscillococcinum: Take at the first sign of any flu-like symptoms.
2) AHCC: Take this medicinal mushroom supplement daily to boost immune health.
3) Omega-3 + Vitamin D supplements– and be sure to get your levels tested first so you know how much to take.
5) Probiotics for general gut health.
What are the 5 foods that people should be eating on a weekly basis to help achieve a healthier lifestyle?
2. Mushrooms (esp. Shitake)
5. Coldwater fish (esp. salmon, tuna, sardines)
You’re a fan of CrossFit. Besides the physical benefits, does being physically active contribute to your good health in other ways?
Yes, I am a huge lover of CrossFit for its physical benefits, but for me, it’s so much more. Exercise allows me to clear my head and get the benefit of the endorphins that are produced. These endorphins create a sense of wellbeing and happiness, which then perfectly feeds into my focus on meditation for stress reduction.
Make sure you follow Dr. Redcross on social media so you don’t miss a thing: