Cold and flu season is upon us, and with it comes an endless stream of sniffles, coughs, and itchy throats. No one has time to get slowed down by a random bug. Prioritize your health and get out ahead of flu season with these tips.
- Wash Your Hands: Seriously. Do it. We know we're not the first to tell you this, but regular hand washing is the most important thing you can do to keep cold germs away from your system. Wash with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds at regular intervals throughout your day, and do it twice as much if you're around someone who is sick.
- Sanitize: Keep all commonly used surfaces clean and germ-free by sanitizing regularly. The kitchen is a no brainer, but keep an eye on your phone, your keyboard, your doorknobs, and your lightswitches. If it's an object you touch regularly or something that lots of different people touch, it's important to keep it clean and germ-free.
Prioritize Nutrition: Great nutrition is the bedrock of any healthy immune system. Certain nutrients, including Vitamin C and zinc, have been shown to improve your immunity and reduce the duration of colds. Smoothies are a great way to make sure you're hitting all of your most important nutrient needs. We love mixing a scoop of greens powder into this smoothie for an extra boost (with a little extra love for your digestive system on the side).
Sleep Well: The research is in: if you're not getting enough sleep, your immune system will suffer. Your body needs sleep to create all of the components needed to defend against disease. If you're getting less than seven hours a night, you're much more likely to get sick if exposed to a virus. Want to learn more? Check out this paper for all the details.
- Reduce Stress: Consistent stress has a negative impact on many areas of your life. Your immune response is no exception. This can be especially problematic during cold and flu season, as the holidays can be a particularly stressful time. If you find you're more susceptible to illness than you'd like to be (aren't we all?), find ways to take a little off your plate. Work in stress-management techniques like mindfulness, yoga, or journaling. A little goes a long way to keeping your immune system working effectively.
- Get Outside: Cold and flu cases rise in late fall and early winter. This also happens to be the time people start spending more time inside. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Getting outside for a bit every day gets you away from germ-filled common spaces. It's also great for stress management. And besides, who couldn't use a little extra Vitamin D? There's also plenty of evidence that exercise is great for immunity, so getting outside every day gets you two benefits for the price of one.