When cold-and-flu season arrives, it can seem like everyone around you is sick. While keeping yourself well in a sea of illness might seem impossible, there are a few tricks you can use to keep from getting sick this winter.
How to Keep from Getting Sick This Winter
Is everyone in your office coughing or sneezing? Don’t think a cold is inevitable this season. Wintertime is peak season for contracting illnesses. Due to the colder weather, we tend to stay inside more, which often puts us in proximity to disease-causing germs. When we do get sick, it can be frustrating not knowing exactly what we may have “caught”.
Wash Your Hands
This may seem obvious, but it couldn’t be more important. While most people know they should wash their hands, most studies show only 50% of women do before leaving the bathroom, and the numbers are worse for men. Wash your hands regularly throughout the day. Regardless of what anyone tells you, it’s far and away the best known method for preventing infection, but only if you actually do it.
Exercise Even Though It’s Cold
As the weather cools, motivating yourself to get outside for a walk, jog or bike ride may seem like real chore. But many studies have shown that people who are more physically active are also much less likely to get sick. Don’t worry about the fact that it’s cold. Contrary to popular mythology, cold air doesn’t transmit illness or make you sick.
There’s no substitute for fruits and vegetables when it comes to giving your immune system what it needs to fight illness. While many take a multivitamin to boost their vitamin and mineral intake, fresh veggies are the best and most natural way to get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and fight off infection. When it comes to your diet, variety is key. Try to have several different colors represented on your plate and throw some nuts into the mix as well.
This provides natural resistance of your body’s ability to function optimally which can only happen if you are free of subluxations. Vertebral subluxations are misalignments in the vertebrae of your spine. They prevent proper nerve flow throughout your body and lower your natural resistance. Dr Baker’s job is to find subluxations and correct them with spinal adjustments. When the stress on the nerves is cleared, the body functions at a much higher level. This is the best form of prevention available.
Lack of sleep often leads to illness. While scientists and doctors don’t have a complete picture of how this works, it’s clear that the immune system needs those Z’s to do its job well. If you’re consistently dropping below seven hours of sleep, you’re putting yourself at higher risk for illness by preventing your body from protecting itself.
Aside from your skin, the major protective surfaces on your body are all wet. Your eyes, mouth, nose, lungs, stomach and intestines all use a watery solution of some sort to form that protective layer. This layer snares any invaders trying to access the body and helps destroy them or flush them out. If you’re dehydrated, these surfaces dry out and lose their protection, opening you up to infection.
Cut Your Nails
Think about it: You touch a lot of things over the course of the day. While you might wash your hands, it’s harder to wash under your nails. Often dirt and germs get trapped underneath and then released over the course of the day as things you do with your hands shake them free. Keeping your nails short prevents you from carrying stowaways. Try not to chew your nails, since this transfers the bacteria directly into your mouth
Do Away With Stress
While stress isn’t bad in the short term, long-term stress suppresses your immune system and prevents your body from being able to fight infection effectively. Finding ways to decompress are extremely important in keeping yourself healthy and illness free.
Avoid Touching Public Surfaces
Public surfaces are notoriously dirty. Beware of any surface other hands have touched (more so than any other part of the body). When opening and closing doors, try to use a sleeve or a paper towel. At the buffet, use a napkin to handle the serving utensils. Anything you can do to avoid sharing surfaces with other people’s hands will help stave off illness.