Updated: Feb 12
You're busy and have no time to get sick! Try these 6 natural ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season!
1. Immune-boosting foods
A well-rounded, healthy diet is the best way to support your immune system. Aside from eating your fruits and veggies, getting enough protein and eating frequently throughout the day, there are a few additions to boost immune support during cold and flu season.
Onions and garlic: these foods are natural bacteria killers. Start incorporating these into meals more often to help keep bacteria in check. Why do you think chicken soup often has both of these?
Vitamin C: This natural antioxidant is common in citrus fruits, broccoli and other veggies. Be sure to include these foods on a weekly basis for immune support. If you feel a cold coming on, you may want to consider a Vitamin C supplement.
Green tea: If you're sick, tea is a great way to warm your body, loosen mucus and soothe a sore throat. Green tea also has a kick of antioxidants that provide an immune boost.
2. Keep up with exercise
Your body requires natural movement in order to flush out harmful toxins that weigh our immune system down. Our lymph system (think lymph node swelling around your neck), needs movement and gravity to help push gunk collected from the bloodstream out of the body. If exercise isn't part of your normal routine, start small. Going for a short 15-minute walk every day is a great way to begin without overtaxing your body. Learn how to incorporate more exercise here.
3. Get enough sleep
You've heard this before, I know! Periods of rest are needed to restore and replenish the body. Getting a good night's sleep is often cast aside for looming work deadlines, chores and Netflix binges. Life is all about balance, and it is just as important to schedule in sleep as it is to keep up with your other priorities.
4. Reduce stress
We all have stress, and we know that extremely stressful situations can have negative effects on the body. While your immune system is in overdrive managing stress hormones, bacterial and viral illnesses have a prime opportunity to take over, making you more likely to get sick. Even when you are insanely busy, it's important to take a breather. Start small by finding just ONE MINUTE every day to sit, close your eyes and just breathe!
5. Practice good hygiene
Bacteria and viruses are abound this time of year, so it's important to keep clean. Wash your hands often, especially before eating. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash to keep common head cold bacteria from hanging on. Shower daily!
6. Listen to your body
This should perhaps be number one! If you start feeling sluggish, tired, unproductive or weighed down, there is a good chance your immune system is trying to fight off illness. Don't wait until you develop true symptoms to take care of yourself. First off, SLOW DOWN! Get to bed early, delegate some personal or work duties if necessary and give yourself time for a little self-care. Running yourself ragged when you are feeling this way will inevitably make you sick!
What if I still get sick?
You still run the risk of getting sick, even if you incorporate all of these tips. The good news is, if your immune system is well-supported, the longevity of your illness will likely be short, and your symptoms much milder than they could have been.
Take time to get better and be a good citizen by limiting exposure to other people while you may be contagious. Don't go to work or school sick. Yes, things still need to get done, but bringing the plague into your office is hardly productive!
There you have it. 6 natural ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season!
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