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Improving Your Health

Poor eating habits, cigarette smoking, alcohol, or drugs like marijuana and cocaine can hurt your immune system. You can give your immune system the tools it needs by eating a balanced diet. Talk to your doctor about exercise. Moderate exercise will make you stronger. And make sure you get enough sleep. I also believe that emotional support, meditation, prayer and laughter help keep the body strong. I also carefully clean any cuts and scrapes, keeping them covered until they heal. I do not share any personal hygiene items such as razors and my toothbrush.

Tips on Nutrition

Just as good nutrition can help our bodies, malnutrition can hurt it and hasten the progression of disease and infections.

1. Eat a variety of foods

2. Maintain a healthy body weight

3. Choose a diet low in fat and cholesterol

4. Choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and grains

5. Cut back on sugars

6. Use salt in moderation

 

I have read that people with HIV/AIDS can be up to 300 times more susceptible to some forms of food poisoning. And that the diseases that these infections cause ,can be far more serious for someone living with HIV/AIDS than the general public. Almost all food poisoning comes from improperly prepared animal products and can be prevented. There is no way to tell which animal products have the disease-causing microorganisms so we should treat them all as if they were infected.

*Never drink raw or unpasteurized milk

*Never eat any raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish or eggs

*Be careful to not let any meat drippings come in contact with other foods

*ALWAYS refrigerate meat, fish and poultry (cooked or not)

*Rinse off all your vegetables

 

Exercise

We always hear to consult our physicians before starting any exercise program, so make sure you do that first. A moderate exercise routine can help keep your body healthier. A good rule of thumb is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week. Walking and cycling are good ones. It's recommended to start with 30 minutes and gradually increase your time, but keep it under an hour. Stretching exercises can be done daily and help to relax muscles. Don't exercise to the point of exhaustion though. If you are feeling fatigued, getting sore muscles or notice a decrease in your appetite, you may want to cut back. If you have a cold or flu, or even an elevated temperature, it is recommended you wind down your exercise regimen until you are feeling better. This way, you give your immune system a chance to fight off infection without the added stress of exercise.

Once you start to exercise, make sure you eat enough calories to maintain your weight. Losing weight may not help your immune system.

 


Rest

We all need and survive off different amounts of sleep so it's important to get the amount YOU need. Sometimes our bodies are working double, even triple time and we may need extra rest during these times. There are times that I know I got my normal amount of sleep but I still feel really tired and a little nap will sometimes do the trick. I've been told my body knows what it is doing and if I'm tired--it's telling me to REST. There have also been times I wanted to just sleep and sleep and sleep......Sometimes I am hiding so I have to pay attention to my emotional state as well!

 


Alcohol

Too much alcohol can impair the immune system. It can even reduce your body's ability to get vital nutrients from the foods you eat and could interfere with your medications.

 


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