School is back in session across the country. While you and your family will be busy focusing on getting into the groove of a new term, it's important not to lose sight of your health needs.
"I get it; it's a hectic time of year," says Ken Redcross, father of twins and a board-certified internal medicine physician. "But you need to make sure everyone is eating right, getting plenty of rest, and doing all of the important things to protect your family's health."
Here are some of Redcross’ strategies to make this the healthiest school year yet for you and your kids.
Try Stress-Relieving Activities
From the changes in routine to added academic pressures, especially for teens, back-to-school time can be a hard transition for the whole family. Daily exercise is a great way to relieve stress while keeping your body healthy and strong. "Biking is one of the ways I like to destress," says Redcross, but he says you should find activities you know your family will enjoy, whether it's a walk around the neighborhood or a game of hoops in the driveway. Doing a fun, physical activity for just 30 minutes a day will help stimulate the immune system and help it function better.
For extra help with occasional symptoms of stress, consider a non-sedating homeopathic medicine like StressCalm for ages 12 and up. It helps relieve nervous tension, irritability and hyperactivity due to occasional stress without drowsiness and is not habit forming.*
Stay on Top of Sleep
You woke up early to pack the lunches and had a big presentation at work. Tonight, you're the carpool parent for field hockey practice. Time for more coffee? No, says Redcross. He warns drinking too much caffeine can heighten stress levels and keep you up at night if consuming it too late in the day.
Feeling tired could be a sign you're not sleeping well. To ensure a good night's sleep, you and your kids will want to tuck electronics and devices away for the night an hour or two before bed. Do what you can to make bedrooms a sanctuary for sleep. Check for lights or noises that could disturb you at night and be aware of the temperature as extreme heat or cold can disrupt rest.
Sometimes you need a little help when sleep is elusive. Homeopathic sleep aids are an excellent option because they're non-habit forming and don't contain melatonin or other ingredients that might leave you groggy the next day. SleepCalm tablets melt in your mouth without having to take water to relieve occasional sleeplessness, restless sleep, and intermittent awakening.* They're also available in convenient liquid doses for little ones ages 3 and older.
Fight Back-to-School Sicknesses
When it comes to the spread of germs, everyone knows the drill by now: Wash your hands frequently and try to avoid touching your face. But preventative measures aren't always enough. You need to nip symptoms in the bud as soon as they start so you can get back to feeling better faster.
"That's where homeopathic medicines like Oscillococcinum and ColdCalm come in handy," says Redcross. "Have them ready in your medicine cabinet to use the moment anyone in your household starts getting sick."
When taken at the first sign, studies show that Oscillococcinum reduces flu-like symptoms' duration and severity in ages 2 and up.* ColdCalm addresses symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, and minor sore throat, throughout every stage of the cold for ages 3 and up.**
If you or a family member does get sick, Redcross also advises cutting out sugar and junk food, which can suppress your immune system, and getting plenty of fluids to support the body's natural healing response.
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*These "Uses" have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
**Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.