This time of year is full of celebration and gift giving. One of the gifts we don’t necessarily want to receive is a cold or flu germ. Many of the tips that I share in this article, you may have heard before. However, it is a great reminder because with the winter season being hectic, we forget some easy ways to take care of ourselves and minimize our chances of catching a cold.
TIP 1: Stay Physically Active!
One of the best ways to prevent illness and reduce your risk of getting sick with the cold or flu is by boosting your physical body. Exercise promotes healthy circulation through your heart and activates your lungs to breathe in more oxygen. Oxygen rich blood allows the body to heal and repair more quickly if you are in public environments like schools, movie theaters, sports stadiums, where you are more likely to be exposed to germs.
TIP 2: Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C and E
Research has shown that having a diet rich in Vitamins C and E supports the body’s ability to fight unwanted viruses. Foods that have large doses of Vitamin C include: Oranges, Strawberries, Guava, Kiwi, Broccoli, Yellow Bell Pepper and Dark Leafy greens like Kale and Chard. Foods rich in Vitamin E include: Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Spinach, Avocado, Squash, and cooking with Olive Oil.
TIP 3: Avoid Large Amounts of Processed Sugar
I know, I know! It is the holiday season and EVERYONE is baking tons of sweets with lots of SUGAR! Processed sugars lower our cells abilities to recover if we are exposed to cold and flu viruses. Sugar competes with Vitamin C in our cells and usually sugar wins, temporarily. If our cells are full of sugar rather than Vitamin C, sugar does not contain the components our cells need in order to fight off viruses. If you do decide to partake of the sugary sweets, try to moderate how much you take into your system.
TIP 4: A Good Night’s Sleep
When we get a good night’s sleep, our bodies work better. Our brains are happier. Our circulatory system and heart stay healthier. Holidays can be stressful and rushing around trying to get all of our chores done along with enjoying all of the celebrations, we tend to cut back on our sleep to fit it all in. Being tired and run down leaves you susceptible to germs and viruses like the cold and flu because our internal defense system is depleted. Don’t underestimate the power of getting a good night’s sleep.
TIP 5: Wash Your Hands
As simple as this sounds, it is true. Cold and flu season is an active time for passing germs especially if we are in a lot of public places like shopping malls, coffee shops, grocery stores or attending holiday parties. Soapy warm water to keep your hands clean effectively reduces your exposure to germs that are passed through touch.