When cold and flu season comes around, it’s hard not to feel that getting one or both is inevitable. After all, doesn’t everyone get sick during the winter? Not necessarily – there are certain things you can do to help minimize your risk of contracting colds and flu this season. Here are some smart ways to fight off these unwelcome sicknesses.
Nip It in the Bud
If you feel a cold or flu coming on – maybe it’s a tickle in your throat, or a certain feeling in your chest – then it’s a good idea to act fast. One option is over-the-counter homeopathic cold and flu remedies, which are said to be highly effective if you use them at the first sign of a cold or flu.
Other options are listed below, and they are all said to be more effective if implemented right away, before the illness settles in. This means it’s a good idea to keep your treatment(s) of choice on hand, before symptoms set in.
A Good Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement
During the winter months, health experts theorize that our susceptibility to colds and flu increases in part due to lack of key vitamins. Vitamins C and D (particularly D3, say experts) tend to be low in the winter season, with its lack of fresh produce and sunlight. So it’s a good idea to get started taking a quality supplement at the beginning of cold and flu season so your body is ready when you get exposed to germs.
Lest you think you don’t have time to get a good night’s sleep, consider the amount of work time lost if you get sick. You could be out of commission for weeks! Instead, try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, preferably starting before midnight (sources say you get a healthier eight hours if they begin before midnight).
Really. This one is important. Hand sanitizer is good to keep on hand (literally) in case you don’t have access to soap and water, but nothing beats thorough washing with anti-bacterial soap and warm water. The general consensus is, work up a lather on your hands for a full 20 seconds before rinsing.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to eat junk food instead of fresh produce. There are all kinds of interesting, healthful foods you can eat in the winter that can boost your immunity and keep you healthy: greens (like kale and collards), winter squash, whole grains, sweet potatoes, cabbage, onions, garlic, pomegranates, and so forth.
Healthful meats like fish and lean turkey are generally available year-round, and Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits are often available in grocery stores during the winter. And don’t forget frozen fruits and veggies.