Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stay Healthy This Winter!

“Whether you love or hate the winter season, the combination of short days, cold temperatures, wind, snow and ice often takes a toll on our immune systems,” says Robin Motter-Mast, DO, primary care physician for GBMC at Hunt Valley. “Fortunately, there are many simple, inexpensive things we can do to ward off illness.” She offers the following tips for staying healthy throughout the winter months when sore throats, sniffles and the flu seem to be everywhere. 
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water.
  • Get a flu shot (except children under 6 months and adults who have experienced severe reactions to flu shots or who are allergic to eggs).
  • Exercise 30-60 minutes per day on most days of the week. Regular exercise keeps your immune system healthy so it can effectively fight infections. Plus, maintaining strength and flexibility helps to prevent injury from slips, trips and falls.
  • Strive to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and try to avoid eating processed foods.
  • Aim to sleep for 7-8 hours each night. Getting enough sleep is another way to boost the immune system and prevent stress.
  • Consider taking Vitamin D supplements.
  • Decrease alcohol consumption.

Dr. Motter-Mast also notes the importance for patients to talk with their physicians before making significant lifestyle changes. “Your doctor knows your medical history and can tailor a wellness plan around your specific health needs,” she says.  

Many of GBMC’s primary care physicians are currently accepting new patients. To find the doctor that is right for you, visit or call 443-849-GBMC (4262).

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