They’re saying it’s the worst flu season on record, and everyone I know knows at least one person who’s sick right now. That’s pretty depressing and I like to share good news. So yes, it’s winter and that means flu and cold viruses are all around us, but it doesn’t mean they have to get you! Here are some tips I put together. Follow them and hopefully you’ll avoid getting sick this winter!
1. Get a flu shot:
That’s the first thing to do, and if you haven’t done it yet, it’s not too late. To be perfectly honest, getting the flu shot doesn’t mean 100% that you won’t get the flu, but it decreases the odds by a lot, so do it! And even if you’re in the camp that says getting the flu shot makes you feel a little sick for a couple of days, it’s still better than really getting sick with the actual flu.
2. Wash your hands:
So important! Wash your hands before you eat, when you come home, and after contact with others. You never know what you may have touched so wash with plenty of soap and hot water to get rid of germs that can make you sick. And don’t skip drying- just make sure not to share a towel with someone who’s sick.
3. Use hand sanitizer:
You may not always be able to get to a sink, so keep hand sanitizer in your purse, car, desk, or anywhere, so you’re always ready to clean your hands.
4. Reduce stress:
Stress weakens your immune system, so try to stay calm. Laughter and happiness are also good for your immune system, so watch funny videos and do things that make you feel good.
5. Go outdoors:
Fresh air is always good, and vitamin D, which you get from sunlight, is a good immune booster. Eat foods that are rich in vitamin D and talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
6. Get enough sleep:
Make sure you get 6-8 hours each night to keep your body functioning at its best. If you’re tired you’ll have a hard time fighting down germs.
7. Take a probitic:
A healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system.
8. Don’t touch your face:
Germs get into your body through your mouth, nose, and eyes, so avoid touching your face throughout the day.
9. Keep your distance:
Stay far away from anyone who is sick, coughing, or sneezing. It’s a good idea to avoid shaking hands during flu season, and make sure not to share utensils or drinks.
10. Keep warm:
No, you won’t catch pneumonia from being out in the cold, but being cold does lower your body’s resistance to germs. So stay warm and your body can focus on keeping your healthy, not on warming you up.
11. Eat protein:
Protein helps the body produce immune cells.
12. Drink lots of water:
Stay hydrated to keep your immune system strong. Drinking a lot of water can also help your body flush out toxins.
13. Eat garlic:
Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Chop up a few garlic cloves and add to any recipe- it also adds great flavor.
If you do feel like you’re coming down with something, take some time off and relax. Ignoring it means your body will have to work harder to fight it, so take it easy and let your immune system do its thing. Stay home from work or school to avoid spreading it around further.
What are your winter health tips? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!