Overall Health and Wellness
Take care of yourself – you are in charge!
To start, there are many routines and daily activities that are very important factors in maintaining health and wellness such as:
- Attending your CF clinic approximately three to four times a year
- Taking all of your prescribed medication
- Ensuring your diet contains the elements to keep you healthy – a CF diet is high-calorie and high-fat. The Dietician at your CF clinic will help you work out a plan.
- Routinely completing your physiotherapy exercises and activities
Physical activity helps everyone feel better. Your healthcare team will recommend exercise and activities that suit you. Keep in mind that staying hydrated during vigorous exercise is important for everyone, but is even more important for people with cystic fibrosis. Hydration should include sports drinks, in addition to plain water.
Staying healthy / Taking steps to avoid illness
Immunization: Talk to your CF clinic about immunizations that may be recommended such as an annual flu shot.
Infection control: Avoid face-to-face contact with others who have cystic fibrosis and stay away from those with a respiratory illness such a cold or flu. Studies have shown time and time again, the best way to prevent the exchange of germs is by washing your hands frequently, using the proper technique.
For more information on infection control, visit the Infection Prevention and Control page.
Hand hygiene: The best way to prevent the spread of germs (bacteria and viruses) and prevent infections is to remove or kill harmful bacteria by washing your hands frequently. Examples of when you should wash your hands include:
- Before eating
- After using the bathroom
- After coughing, sneezing, blowing or wiping your nose
- After contact with body fluids
- After petting animals
- After being in contact with a sick person
- After being out in public, touching surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, public transportation, etc.)
Hand hygiene techniques, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, should be reviewed and shared with those around you.
If hands are not visibly soiled, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; when hands are visibly dirty, contaminated or soiled, wash with regular or anti-microbial soap and water.
When cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount) and rub your hands together, covering all surfaces of your hands and fingers, until your hands are dry.
When washing hands with soap and water, wet your hands first with water and then apply soap. Rub your hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds, covering all surfaces of the hands and fingers. Need a timer? Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” twice through to a friend! Rinse your hands with water and dry thoroughly using an air dryer or a disposable paper towel. Use paper towel (or your sleeve) to turn off the faucet.
It is important to remember that proper cough hygiene is crucial to prevent the spread of germs. Review the following to prevent spread of germs:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then place in waste basket
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve
- After sneezing it is always important to wash your hands, as discussed above
Know what to do when you are sick
There may be times when you require parenteral (injected or infused) antibiotics either at home or hospital admission. Discuss with your healthcare team the signs and symptoms that should trigger you to seek help. Early recognition of an impending infection and timely treatment is important to overall long-term health.
Summertime and Travelling with Cystic Fibrosis
For helpful hints please refer to the documents below: