10 tips for staying healthy during cold & flu season
Avoid sugar – sugar has been shown to decrease immune function almost
Get adequate rest – 8-9 hours sleep per night and rest if you feel tired.
Sleep is recovery time for the body’s functions, including the immune system.
Sleep in a completely dark room, do not eat just before sleeping.
Wash hands thoroughly and frequently - you should use warm water and soap and
rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds to get rid of germs and bacteria.
Avoid shaking hands with those already sick. Be especially thorough before eating,
in public places, after dealing with money and after riding on public transit.
Eat healthy, well balanced meals - include whole grains, plenty of fruits &
vegetables and adequate protein. Don’t eat on the run. Take time to enjoy your meals
and include plenty of garlic and onions in diet; add shitake mushrooms to soups
during the winter; switch from coffee to green tea; add thyme, oregano, rosemary and
herbs to your soups & stews. Close to 70% of our immune system actually resides in
our gut! Eat a rainbow of vegetables especially leafy greens, & orange vegetables
that are high in beta carotene.
Decrease stress levels – stress also depresses immune function. It has been
shown that about 90% of illness and disease is stress related. Acupuncture, massage
or other body work is great for decreasing stress levels.
Drink plenty of water - at least one 8-oz glass of water for every 20 pounds
body weight. Water is important for healthy digestion and elimination. All of our
cells are constantly bathed in water. When they become dehydrated they can't
Cultivate a positive outlook - Feeling negative will decrease your immune
function, while laughter and feeling positive enhances it.
Exercise regularly – walk, practice yoga, stretch, work out at a gym to
help maintain a healthy body, reduce stress and prevent illness. Energetic exercise
gets blood flowing to your organs, joints,
muscles, and bones. This is important because blood brings nutrients,
like oxygen, to the cells and it removes cellular waste products.
Bundle up and spend a few minutes outdoors regularly. Ensure your back and
neck are covered properly. When sunlight touches our skin, even when diffused
through the clouds, it enables our bodies to make vitamin D which is important
for immune function.
Deep breathing - When you breathe deeply it gives your body a break from
"fight or flight" mode and tells your nervous system to go into rest and
Already have a cold? See
10 Tips to Follow During a Cold or Flu »