Amy McGorry: Timing is everything, especially when it comes to your health and proper planning can mean the difference between getting sick and staying healthy.
For example a flu shot offers the most protection if you get it in late October or early November, right before flu season gets under way. And a cold sore will heal 18 to 21% faster if you take a dose of antiviral medication as soon as you feel the first tingle. Here are some other tips on healthiest time to do everything.
First, take heart medication right before bed. If you take blood pressure medication before turning in, it will still be working by early morning, which is the time associated with a 30 to 50% increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Products like GlowCap can be a helpful reminder to take your medicine at the right time and can also alert your pharmacy when a refill is needed. A wireless chip inside the cap which fits onto most prescription bottles will flash and play a tone to remind you to take your pill. This is a great way to prevent miss doses and to help you stick to a schedule.
Next, schedule your annual skin check in December. You're less likely to be tanned in the winter month so the higher contrast between your skin and pigmented lesions will make it easier for physicians to spot anything suspicious. But don't wait to see a doctor if you notice something abnormal. Most changes turn out to be insignificant, but it's best to be safe than sorry.
Also, schedule any elective surgery for winter or spring- You want to avoid July, August and September when teaching hospitals are flooded with med students starting their residencies, the on-the-job-training part of their medical education. You're better off giving interns at least 3 months to learn the ropes of the hospital.
Finally, do cardio in the early morning. One of the most benefits to early morning exercise is that you might actually do it. You have fewer distractions and if something does interfere, you can still reschedule for the afternoon or evening. If you exercise outdoors you'll be happy to know that air pollution is typically lowest in the morning. And research demonstrates that working out boosts brain activity afterward, a great way to begin your day.
Follow these steps and you'll stay healthy all year long.