9 Tips to Help You Avoid Catching a Cold or the Flu

What do you love about the cold weather? Warm sweaters? Chili in the slow cooker? Getting cozy under a soft blanket? Lots of people love those things, but the cold weather also brings snow, ice, and cold and flu season.

Cold and flu season is probably one of the most dreaded parts of the winter months. Coughs, runny noses, and sore throats are the worst. But there are some things you can do to help avoid catching a cold or the flu – and the time is now to start following these tips – before you find yourself under the weather.

  • Eat a Well-Balanced Diet: This is a must when it comes to staying healthy. When it comes to avoiding colds and the flu, a well-balanced diet can help boost your immunity. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are good for your body, such as Vitamin C and Potassium. Strive to eat a diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and lean protein. 
  • Exercise: Did you know that studies have shown that exercise stimulates white blood cell production, which can help your body fight off a cold? That’s definitely a good reason to keep up your exercise routine. Going for walks, heading to the gym, or practicing yoga may all help you not to catch a cold.
  • Get Some Vitamin D: Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin.” In the winter months, when you may not get as much sunshine because of shorter days and less time spent outside, you may suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. Researchers have shown that those who have a Vitamin D deficiency have weaker immune systems. You can look to take a supplement or consume foods high in Vitamin D, such as salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
  • Sleep Well: Yes, a good night’s rest can help you fight off a cold or flu. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Reduce Stress: Everyone has stress in their lives, but if you’re not able to manage stress, you’ll find that it can weaken your immune system. This is due to the increased amount of cortisol in your body that is released when you experience stress.
  • Get Your Flu Vaccine: While the flu vaccine never claims to be 100% effective, it does usually help prevent you from catching certain strains. Additionally, getting your flu vaccine is important to help prevent others from getting sick. Those who have a compromised immune system may not be able to get the vaccine, but when you get it, you help protect them, too.
  • Have Good Hygiene: Washing your hands often and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing will help you and others. Avoiding germs is key!
  • Don’t Share Personal Items: Water bottles, toothbrushes, utensils, and towels should not be shared to avoid passing germs. And be sure to wash those water bottles, utensils, and towels often and pick up a new toothbrush after you’ve been ill.
  • Keep Your Distance From Sick Friends and Family: This may not be easy, but if you can avoid people who are sick with a cold or the flu, try and do so. Keeping your distance from those who are ill keeps you away from germs.

Use these tips to keep you and your family healthy this winter. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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