With my throat sore and nose running I find myself searching the internet for ways to make sure this is my first and last cold this cold and flu season.
My findings, although disappointing at first, at least leave me reassured in my everyday lifestyle choices. So many products claim to “boost immunity” and although your aunt may swear she never gets sick because she takes Vitamin C religiously, there is no research that is conclusive on what works for everyone, this is where I got discouraged.
However, there are definitely ways we can help ourselves stay healthy. The choices we make everyday can boost our immune system and at least give us a fighting chance, this is where I felt a little better.
- Wash Hands. Not near a sink? Sanitize Hands. And not just after you use the bathroom. Think about how many times you open a public door, use a hand rail down stairs, use a pen to sign for a credit card receipt… I use Babyganics, The Germinator, (even if you don’t have a baby it’s organic, alcohol free, and effective.)
- Sleep. Your immune system is functioning best with as much sleep as possible. Turn off The Voice and get some shut-eye.
- Exercise. Getting a sweat regularly boosts your T cells that help fight off infections. Good thing The Green Yogi can help you sweat every single day.
- De-stress. You can accomplish steps 3 and 4 at the same place! Can’t get to a class? Find ways to relax. A walk when you get home from work, 5 minute mediation during your day, get a massage, take a bath, light a candle, read a book, etc. You know what helps you relax, schedule it on your iPhone like an appointment, it’s that important.
- Eat Well. A balanced diet is key to giving your immune system what it needs. Lots of fruits and vegetables, which are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, protein everyday to help your muscles repair themselves from exercising, whole grains for B vitamins, and try to incorporate garlic and ginger, which have anti inflammatory and fungal properties.
- Drink Water. H2O helps all your systems perform better. If you don’t like plain water try adding cut up fruit like melon or cucumbers to your water. Super refreshing, tasty, and hydrating.
- Supplement? Unless you don’t have a balanced diet supplements have not shown to be effective in preventing colds and flu. However once you are sick herbs such as astragalus, echinacea, and elderberry, may help reduce the duration and severity of your symptoms.
Humidify. I had never used a humidifier myself but now swear by it. My 6 month old is in the midst of his first cold as well and it seems to help him sleep more comfortably, whatever works!Bottom line, there’s not much we can do once we’re already sick except make chicken soup and wait it out. But living clean and green beforehand is the best way to prevent the sniffles.