The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends, however, things have been a little different lately. Chances are you or someone you know has been sick this Winter, it’s spreading like wildfire! While cold and flu season is at an all time high right now, there are things you can do to try to protect yourself and others from getting sick. Below are 5 tips to stay healthy this winter.
1. Eat healthy
A healthy diet supports a healthy immune system. Your immune system is responsible for protecting your body from bacteria, viruses, and toxins.
Your diet should consist of plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, slow digesting carbohydrates, and overall quality food.
2. Incorporate exercise
Regular exercise is important when it comes to staying healthy and boosting your immune system. Your white blood cells are responsible for fighting infections and other diseases. When you exercise, your white blood cells travel through your body faster and are able to fight harder.
It is suggested that you get at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. Whether you’re going to the gym or just taking an afternoon walk, any physical activity is better than none. Below are some other ideas for exercise:
- Bike ride
- Walk around the neighborhood
3. Get good sleep
Good sleep is essential for your overall health and wellness. If you are not getting enough sleep your body becomes vulnerable to illness. When you are sleeping, your body produces cytokines, which are a type of protein in your immune system that fights infections.
Your body also needs energy to fight off any illness and recover. Getting adequate sleep each night is your body’s way of recharging. It is suggested that adults get 6-8 hours of sleep a night. Because of kids, work, school, and life, 6-8 hours may seem impossible to some. Below are some tips for better sleep:
- Limit caffeine intake
- Incorporate daily exercise
- Stick to a sleep schedule
- Limit daytime naps
- Create a healthy environment
4. Practice good hygiene
We’re taught as kids the importance of hand washing, well, hand washing is now more important than ever. Germs make their way into our bodies through our eyes, noses, and mouths, which are frequently touched by our hands. One of the best and most easy ways to stop the spread of germs is to practice good hygiene and wash your hands.
Good hygiene also includes covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, throwing used tissues in the trash immediately after use, wiping down shared surfaces, regularly changing bedding and toothbrushes, and bating regularly.
5. Stay home if you are sick
If you have a fever, cold symptoms, or just feeling under the weather, stay home. Your friends, family, co-workers, and classmates will thank you! While this is easier said than done in some cases, if you are able to take a break and let your body rest it is best to distance yourself from others until you start to feel better.
While it may seem impossible to escape the common cold or whatever else is going around this Winter, by following these tips you can put up a good fight. Eating a healthy diet, incorporating regular exercise, getting 6-8 hours of sleep, practicing good hygiene and staying at home if you are sick are all ways you can protect yourself and others.