Stock Up on Mittens, Socks, and Scarfs! When we are cold, our thermoregulation system keeps our core temperature elevated, but forgoes our extremities. While this is good for our vital organs, the immune defense around our extremities (like the nose and throat) are dampened and are vulnerable to pathogenic bacteria and viruses that inhabit those areas. Therefore, keeping our hands, feet, and neck warm will help keep our immune system fighting off those illness-causing germs!
Add Raw Organic Honey to Your Diet! Raw organic honey has been shown to have many benefits, such as being antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and to have wound healing properties. Plus, it’s delicious!
Stress Less! When stressed, the body produces the hormone cortisol, which can inhibit the immune system. This means you’re are more likely to get sick during times of high stress (like the holidays!).
Exercise! Not only is exercise good for you in general, but it can help you relieve stress and decrease your cortisol levels. Even if you do become sick, exercising can help boost your immune system (Do not go to the gym if you have a fever!).
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! This is a cliché, but for a good reason! Your body NEEDS fluids! Especially when you run a fever, more water is lost and you can become dehydrated quickly. Keep hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go!
Eat a Balanced Diet! I’m sure everyone is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, right? 😉 By fueling you body correctly, your body will be better prepared to fight off germs! This means eating nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, wholesome grains, and getting 40-60 grams of quality protein.
Get Enough Sleep! Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. However, in general people need 7-10 hours of sleep each night. When sleeping, our body recovers from the day, both mentally and physically. When we don’t get those needed hours of rest, our immune system is compromised and leave us susceptible to germs.
Disinfect your Smart Phones! I’m sure we all know that washing our hands is a good idea. But our devices? Just think about where your phone has been! Studies have shown that phones can harbor more (both in number and diversity) bacteria than a toilet seat. An easy way to disinfect your phone is wiping it down with some rubbing alcohol.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol! Having a drink or two isn’t going to make you sick, but drinking excessive amounts (or when you think you may be susceptible to getting sick) won’t help you stay healthy this winter! When drinking, your body temperature drops and your immune system is dampened.
Get your Flu Shot! The best defense against the flu is to expose your body to an inactive (aka-dead) piece of flu virus so that your body can make antibodies against it. Feeling sick after getting the flu shot? This period post- flu shot is called the ‘inoculation period.’ Your body does have an immune reaction to the virus, but it should subside after a few days. Additionally, the flu vaccine is what scientists assume the flu virus strain will look like that season, so you can still get sick after getting the shot. However, your chances are BETTER if you do get the flu shot.