Every winter we're struck by an onset of runny noses, phlegmy coughs and a slew of ailments. Many of us fall victim to these colds and flu because we either fail to properly maintain our health or we don't prepare ourselves.
We can't stop every runny nose, but we can take a few simple steps to safeguard ourselves from sickness this winter. Here are our tips for preventing a cold or, if you're unlucky, get-well-soon tips if you come down with the winter sniffles.
Tips to Prevent Getting Sick
Always be prepared—this goes for everything from work meetings to cold prevention. If you're prone to coming down with a virus during the winter, consider these preventative measures to ensure you don't get knocked out for too long.
Don't drop your exercise routine
The chilly weather makes everyone want to stay inside and forget their workout commitments. But be warned—being lenient with physical activity will impact your immune system. Your body is like a machine: if you let it sit, it will rust. Maintain a light workout routine instead to keep yourself fit and healthy.
Be diligent with hygiene
We should always be conscientious of germs, but more so during the winter. With so many people catching colds, it's important to stop the spread and wash your hands. The simplicity of this task is the reason it gets overlooked, so lather up, be thorough and keep clean.
Get a flu shot
If you're prone to catching a cold or flu, consider getting a flu shot. You'll be in and out in a jiffy and have that peace of mind. It may not be for everyone, but you should consider it if you're a senior or often around young children, seniors or those with chronic illness.
Load up on vitamins and minerals
Vitamin and mineral intake is a must! Take 1000 IU Vitamin D supplement with food. Eat a colourful array of fruits and veggies to get the nutrients you need for a healthy and strong body. By ensuring you're eating a variety of healthy produce, your body will be prepared to fight off any germs thrown at it.
If you're over 50 and have respiratory problems or other health concerns, consider getting a pneumococcal and/or shingles vaccine. You want the best protection against the onslaught of other winter viruses, so do your research or talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Getting proper rest is vital for your physical and mental health because infections will attack you at your weakest. Make it a priority to get at least 6 hours of sleep to ward off grumpiness, lethargy, stress and those icky bugs.
Tips for When You're Already Sick
You may have gotten through most of the winter without a single cold, but for others, it's been impossible to avoid. It's too late to take precautions because the runny nose has started and the drowsiness has set in. So what should you do? Sleep is a good place to start, but there are other ways to tackle this nasty infection.
Stay at home
Apart from keeping stress and overexertion to a minimum, staying at home keeps your cold from spreading. You hate being sick, so why would you pass your cold along to someone else? Rest up and head back to work or community events when you're on the mend.
You want to give your body a fighting chance when it comes to battling infections. By drinking plenty of water, you'll thin the mucus in your lungs and flush out toxins. Plus, water is always good for keeping healthy and hydrated.
Seek out vitamin D sources
Recent studies show that vitamin D fights cold and flu symptoms by boosting your immune system. We don't see a lot of sunshine during the colder season, so it's best to ensure our diets are providing us with enough vitamin D. Eat fatty fish, drink orange juice or look into taking supplements.
Steam it out
Another way to clear up your airways is through steaming. Take a long, warm shower or hold your face over a hot bowl of water to thin and loosen mucus. It'll be a relaxing relief to be able to breathe again!
Preventing a cold or flu can be as easy as catching it, so take care of your body and you should and find yourself in a more healthful state this winter. If all else fails, be patient with your recovery. Take it easy, rest up, keep hydrated and relax. You'll be better in no time.