It’s that time of year already – cold and flu season is upon us! Whether it’s sniffles, stomach bugs or head colds, no one wants to be a victim. Short of locking yourself in your room for the fall and winter, what can you do? How can you protect yourself and stay as healthy as possible this cold season?
There are actually many simple things you can do to protect yourself and your family.
- Wash your hands – a lot! It is no mystery we touch many germy things throughout the day. Germs find their way into our bodies when we touch our mouths, nose, and eyes and transfer those germs. Washing hands eliminates some of those germs and some of that risk.
- Keep your hands off your face! Sure you need to wash your face and brush your teeth but try to limit rubbing eyes, noses and putting fingers around your mouth – especially if you have been around coughing or sickly people. If you can’t wash your hands at least keep them clear of your face.
- Hand Sanitizer is your next defense. Used reasonably hand sanitizer is a good idea. After handing money, touching public spaces like hand rails, shopping carts, and ATMS – hand sanitizer could be your best defense against germs.
- Get your Gut right! Did you know much of your immune system is linked to having a healthy gut? If you perpetually have tummy troubles or a gurgly belly, it may be time to figure out what is causing this. Try an elimination diet to see what sets you off. Add a probiotic to your daily plan to get the good bacteria working for you.
- Sleep! We should not be praising the person who regularly gets by on 4 or 5 hours sleep. Our bodies need rest to recoup, refresh and recharge. While you may be able to get it done on less than 7-9 hours of sleep, you are also compromising your immune system. Give your self a fighting chance with more rest!
- Netty Pot to the rescue! If you have not tried the netty pot or a similar squeeze bottle, you may want to give it a squirt or pour this cold season. Warm salt water acting as a disinfectant is used to flush out the nasal passages, sinuses and also the back of the throat. This will also work great for allergies, too!
- Vitamin C to the Rescue! Vitamin C has been shown to help with immunity so do yourself a favor and get your vitamin C on the regular this time of year. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin meaning if you consume more than you need it will simply be flushed out in your urine.
- Water please. You’ll need to wash that Vitamin C down with some water. Water is important not only to keep you hydrated but also to flush out your system. Doesn’t every doctor say when you have a cold, “Get lots of clear fluids”? Water is the best clear fluid and there is no reason to wait until your are sick to hydrate and cleanse the body from the inside out.
With all of these stay healthy strategies, you stand a better chance of surviving this cold and flu season unscathed. But if you do get sick, please take care of yourself and stay home. Why risk getting your friends, co-workers and fellow Pilates students sick, too?
Here’s to a healthy fall and winter!