Help your kids stay healthy through­out the school year

The Covington News - - BACK TO SCHOOL - STAFF RE­PORTS newsi@cov­

School is a great place to learn, play and make friends. Un­for­tu­nately it’s also a great place for germs to get very well ac­quainted….with your fam­ily. With 20 to 30 kids in a class­room and even more on the play­ground, it’s hard to avoid the germs that cause such ill­nesses as colds, flus and more.

Three-time Gold Medal­ist, wife and busy mom of two, Christie Ram­pone knows the im­por­tance of good health. As cap­tain of the U.S. Women’s Soc­cer Team, she trav­els more than 200 days a year, of­ten with her young chil­dren in tow.

So stress, fa­tigue and stay­ing healthy are daily bat­tles. Since days off are not an op­tion for Ram­pone, she is of­fer­ing five “stay healthy” tips that par­ents can fol­low all school year long:

• Eat healthy: It’s no se­cret, a bal­anced diet is key for a healthy im­mune sys­tem. By fo­cus­ing on a va­ri­ety of fruits and veg­eta­bles and avoid­ing pro­cessed foods and sug­ary snacks, your fam­ily will get the nu­tri­tion it needs to fight off germs dur­ing the school year.

“Some of my fa­vorite healthy snacks are car­rots, cel­ery and ap­ples. They are easy to pack and ex­tremely nu­tri­tious,” says Ram­pone. “The trick is to cre­ate va­ri­ety, be­cause kids tend to grow tired of the same things quickly.”

• Get plenty of ex­er­cise: Fre­quent, mod­er­ate ex­er­cise is im­por­tant for good health and strong im­mu­nity. On a daily ba­sis, en­cour­age kids to play sports, run, bike ride or dance, all to keep their bod­ies fit, hearts pump­ing strong and minds happy. Bet­ter yet, join in on the fun your­self.

• Sleep at least seven hours a night: Sleep is cru­cial to good health, both men­tally and phys­i­cally. A re­cent study showed that when you get less than seven hours sleep at night, you’re three times more likely to come down with a cold or flu.

• Take sup­ple­ments as needed: Govern­ment rec­om­men­da­tions call for five to eight serv­ings of fruits and veg­eta­bles a day. But how many of us re­ally get them? To help fill the gaps, look for nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ments sup­ported by pub­lished clin­i­cal re­search, like those con­tain­ing Epi­Cor, an im­mune-strength­en­ing in­gre­di­ent found in many di­etary sup­ple­ment brands sold in stores and on­line.

Ram­pone, who has bat­tled Lyme dis­ease, which wreaks havoc on the im­mune sys­tem, has been us­ing such sup­ple­ments for her­self and her en­tire fam­ily.

• Don’t for­get about you: As a par­ent, your first pri­or­ity is usu­ally the kids. But you need to make sure that you also take care of your­self too, es­pe­cially dur­ing the chaotic school and work­week. Make sure that you drink enough wa­ter and get a few min­utes each day to re­lax and recharge your im­mune bat­tery.

More tips to keep kids healthy this school year can be found at www.epi­corim­

While you can’t avoid germs, you can take steps to strengthen your fam­ily’s im­mu­nity and over­all health.

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