When you are rushing around ahead of the holidays, staying up late and stressing about what you need to get done, your body is more vulnerable to germs. All of a sudden, you are sick in bed at the very time you want to feel and look your best.
At this time of year, it is especially important to fight off germs before they get the best of you. Getting a flu shot is important. But so is keeping your immune system strong. If your immune system is operating at its peak, it should actually be quite easy for you to fend off viruses without ever getting sick. If your immune system is weak, however, viruses can easily take hold in your body.
Here are some tips:
Try and get enough sleep. If you’ve been out late the night before, see if you can fit a nap in the next day. Your immune system is the most effective when you’re not sleep-deprived, so the more rested you are the quicker you’ll recover.
Monitor your sugar intake: Sugar is “fertilizer” for pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that can set your immune system up for an assault by a respiratory virus. Controlling your sugar intake is crucial for optimizing your immune system.
Keep up your liquids: Lots of clear water, herbal teas, fresh fruit. Staying hydrated helps the body clean itself and flush out germs. And some liquids can actually boost your immune system. Green tea contains antiviral components that may be helpful against flu infection.
Wash your hands like Lady MacBeth: Scrub with soap and water every time you come home, especially after taking public transit or shopping. Carry liquid sanitizer with you (available in handy key-chain attachments) and use, especially after riding escalators, using bank machines and public transit.
Bro Hug: The most common way viruses are spread is via hand-to-hand contact. Consider the “hug” rather than a handshake or kiss on the cheek, especially if the other person is sick!
Vitamin up: If you don’t take vitamins, it might be a good idea to add them to your daily routine at this time of the year. Vitamin C, well known to stop colds in their tracks, helps the immune system fight infection, bacteria and viruses. Pure, naturally sourced vitamin D is your best choice to support the immune system. According to some health sources, vitamin D decreases your risk of getting influenza by almost 60% when taken during the winter. Zinc lozenges or syrup taken early in the course of a cold can shorten its duration and severity.
Chill out: When you have a free evening, relax! Watch a movie, read a book, get to bed on time.
Keep up your exercise: Exercise removes stress, keeps your system fresh and helps move toxins out of your body. One study found that people who exercised regularly (five or more days a week) cut their risk of having a cold by close to 50 percent. And those who did become sick, had less severe symptoms than those who didn’t exercise.