5 Tips to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Over the course of 2020, everyone has become a lot more mindful about what they need to do to stay healthy. Every year, the cold and flu season puts everyone at risk for getting sick and feeling extremely unwell. Add the COVID-19 pandemic into the mix, and it’s become a nightmare!
This cold and flu season, it’s more important than ever to do what you can to keep your immune system strong and protect yourself from catching a nasty virus. When you take extra steps to keep yourself healthy, you’re also protecting the people who are closest to you by minimizing their risk of coming into contact with a virus.
Give Your Body the Rest That You Need
When you don’t get enough rest, virtually every system in your body will experience negative consequences. This is particularly true of your immune system. Sleep is essential to your immune system’s ability to perform as well as it should. When your body is at rest and doesn’t have to allocate its energy towards basic functions such as moving around and digesting food, your immune system is able to harness some of that unused energy to recharge itself and fight off invading germ cells. Your immune system’s fighter cells are their strongest when you’re asleep; they’re better able to latch onto foreign virus cells and destroy them.
Make it a point to give yourself approximately seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you have trouble getting that many hours of sleep, try modifying your schedule to start going to bed earlier. Prepare some of the things that you need to do to get going the night before so you can spend a little extra time in bed.
Optimize Your Gut Health
Much of your immune system’s activity is controlled by your gut. If you have poor digestion, your immunity will invariably suffer. In particular, you need to keep the microbial community that lives within your gut in check. The population of healthy bacteria has to outnumber the population of unhealthy bacteria. If your digestive tract is overpopulated with unhealthy bacteria, it will slow your immune function. Also, it will impede your digestive function and make it more difficult for your body to absorb the nutritious content in what you eat, which could put your immune system at a further disadvantage.
Eating a diet rich in fiber and taking a supplement that contains probiotics and digestive enzymes is an excellent way to optimize your gut health. Gundry MD Total Restore reviews from people who use the product report improved digestive function as well as enhanced energy levels. As well, drink kombucha or take a probiotic before your meals. Remember to consult your doctor before doing any of these.
Make Healthy Meal Choices
When you eat healthy meals, you equip your body with vital proteins, vitamins, and nutrients that it needs to stay strong when a lot of people around you are getting sick. Eating a lot of foods that lack beneficial nutritional content and instead contain primarily refined carbohydrates or highly processed ingredients will overburden and slow down your digestive system. This will diminish your immune system’s fighting power. Instead of filling up on empty calories and unhealthy additives, choose meals that are rich in fiber, lean protein, and vitamins.
Fuel Your Body With Vitamin D
Most people associate Vitamin C as the number one vitamin that you need to stay healthy and fight off a cold or flu. However, it’s also imperative that you make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D. People get some Vitamin D naturally from exposure to the sun. During the winter months, though, people tend to be outside less often and don’t get as much Vitamin D as they normally would.
Your body needs Vitamin D to keep white blood cells strong and circulating throughout the body. When your white blood cells are functioning well and able to stand up to enemy virus cells, you’ll be far less likely to lose the fight against a virus and better able to ward off a cold or flu.
Be Conscientious About Hand Hygiene
While many cold flu viruses are transmitted through the air from person-to-person contact, you also have to remember that it’s very easy to get sick by touching surfaces. When you come into contact with a frequently touched surface that someone with cold or flu germs has touched, you are at high risk for coming down with the same virus. Be sure to wash your hands right away when you get home. When you’re out and about doing errands or going to appointments, try to avoid touching your face with your hands.
Staying healthy during cold and flu season may require a little extra attention to your health, but it’s certainly well worth your efforts. Keeping your immune system in top fighting condition and minimizing your risk of exposure to viruses will help ensure that you have a great and enjoyable start to the new year ahead.
How do you stay healthy during cold and flu season and during this pandemic? We would love to hear from you in the comments at the bottom of this page.
Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty, and fashion. As well, when she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
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