Immunity is winter’s magic word. When temperatures drop and windows and doors stay shut, viruses can fester. If your immune system is down, you’re more likely to catch the latest bug which means less energy and generally feeling awful. Winter germs are lurking everywhere so use some of these useful tips to avoid illness this winter.
-Getting the flu shot before the winter season starts can reduce your risk of illness by 50-60%. Family physicians, health departments, and even your local pharmacies offer them, often for free.
-Research has shown vitamin C to be one of the most powerful immune boosting vitamins available. This water-soluble vitamin can be found in oranges, orange juice, broccoli and in other fruits and vegetables as well as in high-quality multi-vitamins. Chewable or liquid vitamin C is also available in most health food stores. Ester C (a unique form of vitamin C that is buffered with calcium to increase absorption) is also available in several multi-vitamins or as a single supplement.
-Buy plenty of hand sanitizer. Using sanitizer can reduce your exposure to germs immensely. Try to find one that has at least 60% alcohol, or make your own by using this recipe:
- 3 oz. filtered water
- 1 tsp aloe vera gel
- 10 drops cinnamon essential oil
- 10 drops clove essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops lemon essential oil
Mix ingredients in a 4 oz spray dispenser and shake gently. Spray into hands 3-5 sprays and massage for 5-10 seconds.
-Drink lots and lots of water. Eight to 10 glasses a day is recommended, especially during the winter (though our doctor would prefer you drink more like 15 glasses). You’ll feel loads better when you are hydrated and if you have already gotten a cold, keeping hydrated has been shown to be an important part of the illness battle.
-Avoid overdoing it on refined flours or sugars. Too much white sugar and flour will not only contribute to weight gain, but can also crash your immune system.
-Staying active will help promote bone and muscle health, control weight, and improve sleep patterns, leading to an overall healthier lifestyle throughout the year. And the stronger you are in general, the stronger your body will be to fight off illnesses – or recover in case you get sick despite your best efforts to avoid it.
-Wash hands…..a LOT.
– And get plenty of sleep!