Today was a lovely, warm day, and I relished the opportunity to take a walk around the park without layering up. So this may not seem like the most timely post considering that spring is just around the corner. However, I felt that I needed to get through a cold and flu season illness-free before I could dispense any kind of advice. I always used to get sick during this time of the year, but after taking a serious look at my health habits and a couple of wake-up calls, I am happy to report that I never got sick, despite being surrounded by sick co-workers this season.
Cold and flu season is not a given. You don’t have to get sick just because everyone else is. Cold and flu season isn’t a season at all, it’s an overall lowered immunity of the population based on many different factors that can be overcome, and quite easily. Here’s how I didn’t get so much as a sniffle this past cold and flu season.
- Get enough exercise.
I got a Leaf by Bellabeat for Christmas. It’s an activity tracker like FitBit, but with a focus on reducing stress rather than counting calories. It has inspired me to get 10,000 steps a day, or if that doesn’t happen some day for whatever reason, then maintaining an average of 10,000 steps a day. This change in my exercise routine has helped boost my immunity, as well as made me more energetic, productive, optimistic, and relaxed.
- Get plenty of nutrition.
Lack of adequate nutrition is a big factor during cold and flu season. People are inside more, so they get less vitamin D. People eat more sweets, suppressing their immune system. People consume fewer fresh fruits and vegetables. What I do is take a high quality nutritional supplement – and not the gummy vitamins at the grocery store or even your subpar brands that are standard in grocery stores and vitamin shops. I mean a high quality, over 100% daily value of many nutrients often missing, supplement. Because 100% daily value will keep you from serious illness but will not boost your immunity enough beyond that.
- Reduce stress.
Stress uses up your nutrients, so even if you’re getting enough nutrition, if you have a lot of stress in your life, you will have a weakened immune system. Getting more exercise helps, as well as meditation. Getting more nutrition than you think is enough helps too, so there is enough to go around for both your immune system and your stress response.
- Drink plenty of water.
This one seems really obvious and really easy, but I struggle with it. I need to make a conscious effort to track my water intake in order to get enough daily. But water is critical to keep your body working at its best, including your immune system.
- Get adequate rest.
This is another one I have a hard time with, with my busy life and hectic schedule. And a cat. But getting 8 hours of sleep a night, but certainly no less than 7, on a regular basis, allows your body to regenerate the immune system and fight off attacks. Getting that rest is critical to allow your body to heal itself.
Do you have any other tips on keeping cold- and flu-free? Do you do any of the above in your own life?