Monday, November 20, 2000

Good health hinges on good habits

Personal Trainer

By David Patania
        Question: Every fall and winter I get sick and it ruins all the hard work that I put in all the other months of the year to stay in shape. Any ideas?

        Answer: The first line of defense is year-round, consistent exercise (at least four days per week) and healthy eating. Try to eat lean meats such as chicken and turkey breast, grilled fish filets like halibut, tilapia, salmon and tuna.

        Also take in whole food products such as whole grain breads, oatmeal, fresh vegetables and fruits and lots of water. Be sure to take a multivitamin (check with your doctor for amounts) to ensure that you aren't deficient in any vitamins or minerals.

        These foods go a long way in helping your body stay strong and resistant to infection.

        Your second line of defense is to consistently keep your hands thoroughly clean. Always have a bottle of one of alcohol-based hand cleaner in your handbag, gym bag or briefcase. A small bottle of antibacterial soap is great, too.

        Wherever you are, whether it be in the gym or at work, be sure to keep your hands away from your face. Countless colds and infections are contracted by people passing bacteria germs to their eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

        A third line of defense worth mentioning is herbal supplements such as echinacea, goldenseal and green tea. Thoroughly research these supplements and check with your doctor to see if they are something you might want to try.

        I know of a lot of people that start taking these supplements in mid- to late-October, on through the winter months and are convinced that they are effective. It is best to take them in an on again/off again manner so as to ensure effectiveness.

        Obviously, we cannot totally prevent getting sick, but we can make an honest effort to reduce the likelihood that it will occur.

        Dave Patania, a certified personal trainer, welcomes your questions at


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