The weather is turning colder each day as we march toward the winter months, and, unfortunately, flu season. Some of us are eagerly anticipating the cooler, winter season, and the festive atmosphere, but others are you secretly dreading the influenza season that accompanies this time of year. If you are in the latter camp, the reason behind it may be that you always seem to fall sick. You can put these worries behind you this season- there are ways for you to stay healthy!
1) Keep your hands clean
It may sound too simple to be true, but washing your hands regularly can help you stay healthy in winters. Ideally, wash your hands more often for a minimum of twenty seconds with warm water and soap. You should never forget this before eating! We’re living in a world where hand sanitizers are becoming the norm due to COVID issues, so keeping a small bottle of sanitizer with you is a great way to compensate for those times when it isn’t easy to get to a sink. Like when your coworker sneezes into their hand before grabbing the office door on the way to the meeting…hand sanitizer to the rescue.
2) Stay well-hydrated
Chances are, if you’re like most, busy Americans, you’re not properly hydrated. You must keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water, worth eight ounces each, every day. If you would prefer other options, tea and coffee also count, but watch your caffeine intake. There are some signs that you’re not drinking enough water: low urine output, urine that is darker than usual, headaches, fatigue, thirst (obviously!), and a dry mouth.
3) Follow a healthy diet
Eating well is perhaps the most important component to staying healthy during flu and cold season. Incorporate fresh fruits (don’t overdo it though) and vegetables, low-fat dairy items, and lean protein in your meals. Whole grains are also essential. Foods like ginger, healthy soups and garlic can help boost your immune system and its strength. A well-balanced diet is vital to enhancing your immune system, as is proper gut health, so you may also want to look into fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt.
4) Rest well
The last step is to make sure you get in at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. While you sleep, your heart rests, your blood pressure goes down, as does your blood glucose level. Your body must be strong and well-rested to fight sicknesses, and to reduce your risk of other diseases like type 2 diabetes and stroke. Many Americans sacrifice sleep, because they feel they have a ‘productivity debt’ to repay every day, which pushes them to overwork at the expense of their need for rest and sleep. Don’t cheat your body. Give it the downtime it needs.
There are only a few secret ingredients to optimum health in the winter season. You need to take care of your hygiene, diet, and sleep. Make sure to keep those muscles moving with plenty of exercise too, and you will be good to go!