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No one likes to be sick. You feel rotten and heaven knows your family won’t survive without you! But there are some easy things you can do to keep the germs at bay and keep yourself well. So, here are my 13 tips for preventing colds and flu this winter.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands well with warm water and soap is the best defense in getting those pesky germs off your hands. I’m not big on antibacterial soap, just plain soap will do. Make sure you wash long enough though. Sing Happy Birthday to yourself, and scrub under your nails before you rinse with warm water. preventing colds and flu
Don’t Touch Your Face
All the germs on your hands just need to find a way inside your body to make you sick. The second you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, those germs have found it’s next victim. So, keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands.
Don’t Take OTC Meds
So, let’s say you’ve caught a mild cold and your nose is drippy. Try to let it run its course. Your body has a natural immune system that will help to battle that cold. Taking a medicine to dry up your nose may cause it to be overly dry. You want your nose to be a little moist as it traps that bacteria before it can make you sick. A saline spray might be helpful if you’re nose is too dry. preventing colds and flu
Get Your Vitamins
Ya’ll know, if you’ve been hanging out here long that I’m a big fan of vitamins. Make sure you’re eating lots of whole foods – fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Make your plate colorful at every meal with lots of vegetables! But, I don’t think anyone can get everything you need in all the food you eat daily, so take a good quality vitamin. Youngevity is my favorite brand because they’re easy to take and I really feel like my immune system is better. (Read More here!)
Fresh air is SO good for you! You need to get out of that cozy warm house, even for a little bit. Go for a walk. If nothing else, park farther out from the store so you can get a brisk walk in while you’re running errands. preventing colds and flu
Don’t try to do it all by staying up late and getting up early. Ideally, you should try to go to bed at the same time and get up around the same time every day. Most of us need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night – a MINIMUM of 7 hours. So, if you need to change your nightly routine so you can get in bed sooner, do it. And make sure you limit your screen time before bed. preventing colds and flu
Use Hand Sanitizer
So, while I think hand sanitizer has its place, washing hands is still my preference. However, I absolutely love this PureWorks foaming antibacterial hand sanitizer. It’s alcohol-free and protects your hands for 4 hours. I like that it doesn’t dry my hands out and a small bottle fits in my purse and lasts me a long time since I don’t need to use it as often.
Regular exercise gets your blood pumping and your increased circulation helps to possibly help your body to fend off any colds earlier. When you exercise and your body temp rises, it may keep bacteria from growing. If you go to a gym to work out, just be sure to wipe those machines down before and after you use them ( & wash your hands!).
My kids are forever drinking out of my cup. I often have to remind them in winter to stop or we end up sharing colds back and forth. While it’s nice to share, sharing germs is not nice, so give everyone their own cup to drink from.
And make sure if you do have a cold you are covering those coughs and sneezes. It’s best to use your elbow (the inside part of your arm to cover your mouth) as it keeps the germs off your hands.
Drink your H2O
If you aren’t drinking at least 8 cups of water a day, you should. Yes, you’ll need to go to the bathroom but all that water helps to flush out toxins and keeps everything in your body circulating, which is good. preventing colds and flu
Take a Probiotic
Why a probiotic? Well, everything is connected to the gut, so they say. Some studies have shown that taking a probiotic can help prevent respiratory infections. Obviously, they are helpful in cases of diarrhea and stomach bugs. Yogurt is full of good probiotics or you can take pixie-stick like sprinkle which is perfect if you’re always on the go.
Lots of studies have been done about taking extra supplements like vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc when you feel a cold coming on. I like Airborne and take it when I feel like I need a boost. It comes in several different flavors. I like Berry flavor the best. BUt more importantly, use the food on your plate to boost your immune system too. I read a great book by Dr. Joel Furhman called Super Immunity. He suggests eating a nutritious diet which will, in turn, boost your immune system. preventing colds and flu
Get Some Elderberry
Elderberry is all the rage right now and for good reason. Elderberry has been used as an herbal remedy for colds and flu for years. Studies show it has great anti-viral properties and helps to stimulate your immune system. My friend takes these gummies and I’m a fan of this syrup. You can always make your own syrup (I like this recipe!) if you’re up to it.
There you have it! Thirteen easy ways to keep yourself well this winter. I will admit it’s been a few years since I’ve really been sick. I think it’s because I’m very religious about taking my vitamins (I love my Youngevity vitamins!) and I swear by this when I do feel a cold coming on. I caught a cold on a Spring Break trip a few years ago. I had a fever and felt awful. In 24 hours I was feeling SO MUCH better! If I could only have one product, this would be it!
Also, my sister in law uses Oscillococcinum when her boys get the flu and she says it really helps. You’ll want to pick it up early though as it is sold out often during flu season. preventing colds and flu
So, wash your hands, don’t touch your face & I wish you the “wellest” of winters!
Tell, me what you do to stay well & please pin this to refer to it every winter! I’d love it if you’d follow me on Pinterest while you’re there!