Lifestyle Tips To Help You Avoid The Cold and Flu
Getting sick can happen at any time of year, but there is a significant rise in colds and flus during the winter months. The reasons for this vary from the fact that we are indoors more, therefore transmitting more germs from person to person, to the fact that viruses linger longer on surfaces in colder temperatures.
Whatever the reasons, getting sick is the last thing anyone wants heading into the holiday season and in the thick of regular school and work routines. So let’s take a look at the top 5 natural ways to avoid cold & flu viruses taking you down this winter.
Get more sleep
Adequate sleep is essential to the proper functioning of the immune system. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night are significantly more likely to get sick than those who sleep at least 8 hours. Consider the shortened daylight hours your cue to wind down sooner and get some extra z’s.
Manage feelings of stress
Note that we said “manage” feelings of stress, not “eliminate” stress. Many people will read about tips to cut back on stress and dismiss it as wishful thinking because the truth is, we are all faced with a busy lifestyle and lots of mental and emotional burdens. But there is overwhelming evidence that proves that activities such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation kick your parasympathetic nervous system into gear, thereby lowering levels of stress hormones, and ultimately improving the activity of your immune system.
Move your body
Light cardiovascular exercise such as walking can do wonders for getting your blood moving. An increased heart rate improves circulation and gets the white blood cells cycling around your body and attacking invaders more efficiently. You need not tackle a 60 minute intense workout to see this benefit, so simply find ways to add a good walk to your daily routine.
Wash hands & surfaces often
One of the most obvious ways to avoid colds and flus from taking root in our bodies is to simply prevent them from entering at all. Washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, several times a day, and wiping down commonly touched surfaces such as door handles and water faucets is a great first defence against sickness.
Eat nutrient-dense foods
A healthy immune system is fueled by nutritious food. Focus on healthy fats and proteins, whole grains, and loads of fruits and vegetables for a good supply of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You can also add immune building herbs into your diet that can support you throughout cold and flu season.
Each of these tips will give your body the best chance to stay healthy this cold & flu season.