As the hot, sunny days of summer start to fade into the colder months of fall and winter, many people start to worry about cold and flu season. With kids going back to school it seems almost inevitable that they will bring home some nasty bug, since germs are everywhere. There are quite a few ways to help you stay healthy this cold and flu season, and ten of the best are listed below.
Eat a Healthy, Well Balanced Diet
This may seem like common sense, and maybe it is something you already do, but for some people eating a well-balanced diet is something they struggle with. It is even more important during this time of year that you are giving your body what it needs so that your immune system is functioning properly. Try to avoid, or at the very least limit, your consumption of processed and sugar-filled foods. Your body will use more energy trying to process these foods, and it will have less energy to fight off those germs.
Get Plenty of Rest
Let’s be honest you are probably not getting enough sleep each night. With hectic schedules and the stress of everyday life it’s hard to get the recommended amount of sleep. Your body needs to be able to function to it’s fullest potential and it can’t do this if it isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself each night, which weakens your body and makes it more susceptible to germs and bacteria. While you are sleeping your body is still at work building your immune system and repairing any damage that has been done during the day.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Physical activity can help reduce your chances of getting cold and flu. Regular exercise helps boost the bodies immune system cells that help fight disease. It increases your circulation and the blood flow in your body which helps your immune system find and fight illness before it spreads. Exercise also helps keep your lungs clear of bacteria.
Keep Your Environment Clean
Your home is filled with airborne germs. Your indoor air is even more polluted than the air outside. Purchasing an air purifier is a good investment if you want to keep yourself and your family healthy year round. It is also important to wipe down the surfaces in your home with a powerful disinfectant. If you are trying to stay away from the chemicals in store bought disinfectants there are natural disinfectants you can use. Hand washing may seem like a no-brainer, but it is especially important now to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is acceptable to use if there is no soap and water readily available.
For many people essential oils have become their first choice defense against any illness. There is a long list of essential oils that can be beneficial to prevent and treat colds and flu. Lavender oil can help you get that much-needed sleep. Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Peppermint oils can help keep your sinuses and chest clear of congestion. Essential oils can be added to baths or diffused into the air using a diffuser.
Elderberries are a natural immunity booster. There are elderberry syrups available at most health food stores. It has a taste that some people don’t care for, and if that’s the case for you then there are elderberry capsules available as well.
Garlic has amazing health benefits and anti-viral properties. Eating it raw is the best way to get the full benefits from garlic, but if that idea makes you a little nauseous you can purchase odorless garlic capsules at a health food store.
If you’re not eating a lot of fish you probably need to increase your Omega 3 intake by adding a supplement taken daily. This fatty acid helps fortify the immune system by increasing the activity of flu bacteria eating cells called phagocytes. Omega 3 also helps increase the airflow in your lungs and protects them from germs and bacteria.
Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut help fight bacteria that are trying to reside in your gut. If your gut is out of sync then the rest of your body may be as well. The helpful bacteria that is in your gut not only helps in digestion, but also defends against immune system invasion. If those bacteria become weak they have no way of fighting against all those germs people are coughing and sneezing at you.
Take Your Vitamins
Taking a daily multi-vitamin helps to ensure that your body is getting everything it needs to be in top condition to fight off those germs and bacteria that are trying to invade it. You especially want to make sure you are getting enough of a few key vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin E, Vitamin B and Vitamin D. These all help to boost the immune and aid in the body’s healing process. To help you keep track of your daily vitamin and supplement intake it is helpful to use a pill organizer. You can read more by clicking here, and choose the pill organizer that is right for your needs.
Hopefully these tips will help keep you and your family cold and flu-free this season.