No matter what you do to stay healthy, inevitably people get sick during the winter time. So how do you stay healthy when everyone around you is sick? Follow these easy moves to avoid getting sick this winter.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is possibly the easiest and most effective way to avoid getting sick. During times of increased sickness commonly used items such as pens, doorknobs, phones and remotes hold the germs that help the cold and flu spread. Therefore its vital to wash your hands, and often after touching these types of items. Soap kills the germs and removes dirt where germs hide. Remember to lather up for at least 20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”. And don’t forget in between your fingers and under your finger nails, then rinse thoroughly and dry since germs stick to skin more easily when wet. In a pinch, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are at least 60 percent alcohol and make sure to rub it all over your hands.
Get Your Zzzzzz’s
Getting enough sleep at night can help you avoid getting the cold this winter. That means getting on average 7-8 hours a sleep each night. This allows your body to rest and your immune system to replenish. When you’re tired and run down your immune system gets suppressed which makes you more susceptible to getting sick. By going to bed at the same time each night and making sure to wind down before you turn in, you will get a better night’s sleep.
Take a Break
When you are stressed or run down, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol which dampens the immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off the cold or the flu. Although you can’t control certain stress in your life, if you can manage and cope with that stress you can reduce your risk of getting sick. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are ways to cope with stress.
Eat Your Nutrients
The body needs a combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients to keep the immune system healthy to fight off the cold and flu. Not just one nutrient can keep you healthy, its the combination of nutrients that work together. The best nutrients come from produce, the fruits and vegetables that we eat daily. Although you can take vitamin and mineral supplementation, the nutritional benefits you get from produce cannot be replicated in a pill. During cold and flu season bulk up your immune system by eating 1 or more fruit and vegetable at each meal.
People who exercise 5 days a week for at least 20 minutes or more get sick less often than those who do not. That is the power of exercise. When you exercise it increases your heart rate, which circulates blood and oxygen throughout your body. It also circulates the cells that fight inflection all over the body and they stay active for 3 hours afterward. Any type of activity that gets your heart pumping and your lungs working activates the immune system cells.