Tips for Staying Healthy This Cold and Flu Season
Winter is a time for snuggling up by the fire with a cup of tea and good book, hopefully without the addition of a runny nose and fever during this cold and flu season. Colds spread through the office and school classrooms like crazy at this time of year, but you don’t have to join in the suffering. Most adults and kids continue to go to work and school while sick unless they are just too sick to get out of bed. So that means, colds get spread very easily by just touching a doorknob or a keypad where germs can live for hours, then touching your face where viruses enter through your eyes, nose, or mouth. This is how most kids catch a cold and spread it to their parents.
Here are some easy tips you can add to your life this winter.
- Sleep. It’s essential for good health any time, but even more so when everyone around you is coughing and sneezing. Make sure you get 7-9 hours starting at 9-10pm.
- Food and supplements. Eat healthy whole foods like leafy greens that are filled with nutrients. Nutritional supplements will help you get the optimal level of vitamins and antioxidants that you don’t get through your food.
- Sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Then wash your hands immediately. Only about 40% of your sneeze makes it into the tissue, the rest ends up on your hands. So wash them whenever using a tissue. If there are no tissues handy, use our elbow to catch your sneeze.
- Exercise. Aerobic exercise pumps up your heart and moves oxygen from your lungs to your blood. This helps increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells and immune response.
- Hand washing. Do it several times a day and try not to touch your face. When you wash your hands, lather up with the soap while singing happy birthday, twice. Then rinse your hands.
- Meditate daily. A daily practice of meditation or even just thinking happy or calming thoughts can boost your immune system. Try 5 minutes of deep breathing, as this will lower cortisol levels, which increase when you feel stressed. Stress, on the other hand, has been proven to lower your immune response.
Sometimes a cold can’t be avoided, but if you follow these guidelines, you will most likely end up with a much milder version of what everyone else has. If this does happen, stay home from work and sleep. It’s the best way to support your body’s healing process.
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