As the temperature drops and we say goodbye to summer, we start to prepare for a long cold season, not just temperature wise, but in terms of illness. While getting the occasional cold and flu is not abnormal, it does put a damper on our day to day. In this article I’ll discuss a few good tips to help prevent getting the cold and/or flu.
Tip #1 – Get some zzzzzzs – It is crucial to get a good nights sleep, without it we become more tired and our body focuses on keeping us going rather than fighting any infection. So stop burning the midnight oil and get some rest, especially during the cold and flu season.
Tip #2 – Wash your hands – It is so easy to absent-mindedly touch your face, but think of what that hand has been touching… especially in this season! Wash your hands often as they are one of the gateways to transmit infection from person to person. Make sure you also encourage your kids to wash their hands as soon as they get home from school to help minimize the spread of germs.
Tip #3 – No more sugar – Sugar is probably one of the worse things you can eat for your health. Did you know that eating the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar per day can depress your immune system for 4 hours! Now that’s a long time for your body to lose its defences during the prime time for infection.
Tip #4 – Eat the rainbow – Eating a colourful array of fruits and vegetables ensures that you are getting a vast amount of phytonutrients thus ensuring that you get the most vitamins and minerals from your diet to support your natural immune defences.
Tip #5 – Soak up the sun – Getting your daily vitamin D continues to be important all through the winter as it is also an important factor in proper immune function. If you’re not getting outside very often consider supplementing with liquid vitamin D daily.
Tip #6 – Time for exercise – Following an exercise regime can increase your immune function and keep you feeling great. However, make sure you don’t over do it since intense exercise can have the opposite effect!
Tip #7 – Decrease stress – I know easier said that done. But keep in mind that the more stress you have in your life the more stress this puts on your immune system and thus making you more susceptible to infection.
Tip #8 – Probiotics – Did you know that the majority of your immune system is found in your gut? Not kidding! So you can imagine if your gut is not colonized with the “good” bacteria then you’re already fighting a losing battle. Consider taking a daily probiotic to ensure that you’re providing some crowd control and keeping the “bad” bacteria out!