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Unfortunately, I am already on my second round of cold/flu symptoms for the season and we haven’t even hit December yet! As I sit here feeling like I’m going to lose my lunch in my recycling bin, I decided to research some ways to stay healthy through the cold, winter months.
6 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick
- Get your flu shot.
Ok, I must admit this was the first year I have ever gotten a flu shot. I decided it was in my best interest to get vaccinated because I volunteer with children at a local women’s shelter. Even if you don’t work with children or you think you have a killer immune system, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not only will you be protecting yourself, but you will also be protecting the spread of the virus through your community. And, contrary to rumor, you will NOT get sick from getting the flu shot. (Learn More Facts About the Flu Shot.)
- Load up on Vitamin D.
We often go into “hibernation mode” during the cold, winter months and stay bundled up indoors. Unfortunately, the lack of sunlight can take a toll on our immune systems. Try drinking a glass a day of low-fat milk or 100% orange juice with added Vitamin D. Or, you can simply take a Vitamin D supplement like I do. An added bonus? It helps with seasonal depression!
- Think you’re getting sick? Take Airborne!
If your roommate, boyfriend, co-workers or friends are getting sick, try taking Airborne even before you feel any symptoms. Airborne is a dietary supplement which supports your immune system by filling your body with vitamins and minerals. In the winter, I’ll even take this before I know I’m going to be in a confined area with a lot of people.
- Wash your hands.
I know, it sounds really simple, but it’s been proven that the best way to prevent the spread of disease is by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. It helps to also keep hand sanitizer in your desk and purse. This is perfect for those times where you blow your nose or sneeze and can’t get to a restroom right away. I’ve even gone so far as to offer hand sanitizer to strangers who sneeze next to me on the bus. (Uck!)
- Lay off the booze.
If you avoid cold-weather sports like I do, it can be difficult to find fun things to do in the winter months. Do not make the same mistake I did one winter and name every night “Hot Tottie Night” to stay warm while livening things up around the house. Not only does alcohol have no nutritional value, but excessive alcohol intake can also weaken your body’s immune system. If you’re looking for a great way to stay warm (and healthy) during the winter months, amp up your exercise routine by taking a Zumba class, or even trying out my personal favorite, hot yoga.
- Finally, if you’re sick, STAY HOME.
Unfortunately, sometimes we just get sick and there’s nothing we can do about it. The best thing you can do for your body is drink plenty of water, get lots of rest and try not to spread the virus to everyone around you. If you’re sick, take the day off of work. Your body will thank you and so will your co-workers.
How do you keep from getting sick during the flu season?