Five Preventative Health Tips

No one plans on being sick, but how can you help yourself stay healthy? How can you avoid headaches, congestion, cough, runny noses, and fever? Here are five things you can do to help stay healthy year-round.

Get your Flu Vaccine

The first vaccine was invented in 1796 to help stop the spread of smallpox. The same scientific principals that made that vaccine successful apply to the yearly flu vaccine. Once your are vaccinated, your body helps develop antibodies to attack the flu virus if your body comes in contact with it.

Can you catch the flu virus from the flu vaccine? NO. That’s not how it works. However, it does take about two weeks for the vaccine to provide protection – which means during that time you can still contract the flu. That’s why it’s recommended to get your vaccine at the start of flu season each year – but it is never too late to vaccinate!

Yearly Physical

One of the best investments you can make for your health is to have a yearly physical and form a good relationship with a primary care provider. Yearly physicals include a quick check on your weight, blood pressure, heart rate, heart & lung sounds, medication review, and a blood draw. Most often that blood draw includes lab work to evaluate cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and overall blood counts.

Milestone birthdays can also lead to the start of routine screenings (mammograms, colonoscopies, bone scans, etc.). Early detection can be key to treatment options.


Even moderate exercise (walking, yoga, gardening, bicycling) 2-3 times per week can help boost your immune system, improve overall cardiac and respiratory health, increase energy, and improve overall mood.

Want stronger bones as you age? Aside from diet, you need to include strength and weight bearing exercises. Even small hand weights (1-2 lbs each) can make a difference if you perform exercises on a routine basis.

Healthy Food Choices

Sweets are great. Fast food has its place. You can say yes to that second serving. Your body needs the proper nutrients to stay in tip-top shape. Remember that what you put in your body determines how your body will perform. FIll your nutrient tank with more of the good stuff – protein, fruit, vegetables – and less of the extras.

Wash Your Hands

This is the most important tip – wash your hands. When should you wash your hands? Before you eat. After going to the bathroom. When you first walk into your home – and after you take off your shoes. Wash them any time they look dirty. It’s a simple fact – handwashing helps prevent the spread of viruses & bacteria.

While antibacterial gel can be effective, the simple use of soap, water and the friction of scrubbing is all you need to help rid yourself of the germs.

Remember, simple steps every day (walk that flight of stairs, wash those hands, grab an extra serving of vegetables at dinner) can make a difference over the days, weeks, and months of each year! Stay healthy!

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Nursing Decoded

Nursing decoded was created to share, educate, and collaborate with EVERYONE (patients, caregivers) and aspiring nurses, students, care technicians, nurses, APN's, and all medical providers. We have over 50 years of experience in medicine and have climbed the ladder through this amazing profession. Medicine and nursing is often complicated, exhilarating, exhausting, challenging, loving, and passionate. As Nurse Practitioners, we want to engage and educate people, patients and providers on how to decode, interpret, and navigate our healthcare world through the viewpoint of nursing. Our goal is to provide a consistent, easily accessible resource that clearly outlines, educates and informs on various topics of healthcare to help them interpret, decode and navigate their healthcare world.

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Cindy

    All are very important to our health-or so my doctor tells me 🙂

  2. Angela Sedlak | Mean Green Chef

    Yes! Hand washing is so important and kills me how many people I see that overlook this simple but effective measure for not spreading germs. Recently visited a restaurant that had the hot water turned off in the bathrooms! It did not go over well with me. Thanks so much for sharing the importance 🙂

  3. Christina Siwik

    I love this article and am sharing it on my blog as it fits in with my niche.

  4. Angela

    Must do for good health!

  5. Kendra

    Great tips! My adult daughter works at a daycare and her son goes there too, so they are always bringing home germs. Thankfully, we’re all good hand-washers, but still end up catching the crud often.

  6. Angie

    I love that your tips are short, easy to understand and actionable.

  7. Lucy

    this is all too true! I honestly slack off on getting my yearly flu shots but always make sure my son gets them! I need to be better at caring for myself also 😅

  8. As a teacher, I never fail to get the flu shot. Ha! And I may wash my hands almost as often as a nurse. I do need to step up the exercise, though. Great tips!

  9. Holly

    Great advice! Keeping healthy can be so easy if we just follow these easy steps!

  10. Jenny

    A like your list, it’s short but it will go a long way to keep you and your family healthy! Good easy action plan!

  11. Lisa Manderino

    Great tips! I hate getting sick!

  12. Tricia Snow

    Great tips! We need to do as much as possible to stop the spread of illnesses! The last time we went on a cruise many people could have taken a class on this.

  13. Debbie

    I’m pretty good at three or four of these! Lol

  14. Candy

    Thanks for the reminders. Especially this time of year.

  15. Cathy

    Good information! My husband and I both got the flu months after getting our flu shots! It was very unexpected! I try to be careful but the germs are everywhere!

  16. Charlotte Boehms

    Great reminders!!

  17. Noelle

    I wash my hands often. I am trying to get my kids into this habit of washing their hands before eating or when getting home from somewhere too. I also need to add weight-bearing exercises.

  18. Lina

    Great tips! Handwashing is so important to prevent the spread of germs. Thanks for a great post.

  19. Lisa

    Very good tips that are short and to the point! Thank you for sharing the valuable information.

  20. Jennifer

    Good ideas

  21. Sydney Delong

    Great tips!

  22. Beth Shields

    thanks for the reminders. I am a retired healthcare professional, ID work and all. So hand washing critical for sure. And just finished helping out the grandkids and parents with several weeks of the flu – a mask and handwashing were my allies for sure. Good article and an easy read. thanks.

  23. Jenna

    Such great tips! Even though I know all this, I need to be better at handwashing!

  24. Beatriz

    Great tips and specially when we are not in the medical field is hard to know whats right.

  25. We just got our physicals done with the flu shots! And since we have little ones, we do our best to wash hands often.

  26. Lisa

    It’s amazing what a little hand washing can do when done on a regular basis! Great list.

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