Healthy Holidays: Cold and Flu Season Tips
Prevent and Treat Cold and Flu Symptoms Naturally
Fall and winter are often known as the holiday season, but they are also the beginning of cold and flu season. This season can last from December to February or March, but this year it seems to have started early and is more intense.
Between weather changes, holidays, events, traveling, and gathering with family and friends, it can be easier to get sick. So protect yourself and your loved ones by noting how to prevent a cold or flu in the first place and what to do if you get one.
Cold and Flu Prevention Tips
Our bodies need sleep for several reasons—mental, emotional, and physical health all depend on it. When we don’t get enough, our body feels it. “Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy [so] if you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Get 8 hours a night or more if you need it.
On a related note, taking time to rest is also important. Try not to pack your schedule so full that you won’t have time to slow down, take care of yourself and have time to refuel.
Staying hydrated is always important, but especially during cold and flu season. It’ll help your throat feel better, helps your body naturally detoxify, and helps our body and mind function better overall. Drink half your body weight in ounces each day. So, if you’re 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water per day. One cup of water is 8 ounces so that is also equal to 10 cups.
Wash Your Hands
Harmful germs can easily spread through hand shaking and touching different surfaces. Wash your hands throughout the day with a good soap like Dr. Bronner’s, especially after using the restroom, handling money, and going to public places. Disinfect commonly used surfaces and items like your cell phone.
Food is fuel so make sure you fill your “tank” with quality fuel. This time of year the decadent foods and alcohol flow, but those things can also compromise your immune system. Make sure you’re eating leafy greens and vegetables, organic or grass-fed meat or organic plant-based protein, and healthy filling fats from sources like fish, nuts or avocado. Try to limit alcohol and added sugar.
Move Your Body
Sweat is another way our body naturally detoxifies and one way to do that is exercise. The benefits of exercise also include stronger muscles and bones, increased mood and energy and better brain function.
If you get sick with the cold or flu, it’s important to keep doing all the things we’ve just mentioned even more so you can better fight the sickness. You may need to take a break from exercise or at least do some gentler exercises and stretches depending on how you feel.
Here are more ways you can naturally help your body fight a cold or flu this season.
Hot tea can help soothe decongestion and a sore throat, especially with a little honey, which has anti-viral properties. Organic caffeine-free teas like Traditional Medicinals and Yogi tea have varieties for sore throat, congestion, a cold and immunity.
Try a soup or make a wellness shot at home (or pick one up at a healthier food store like Whole Foods).
Have a merry Christmas, happy New Year and a healthy season!