When the temperatures drop and everyone’s shivering, coming down with the flu is the last thing you want to happen. But the U.S. flu season does land in the winter months, so many people are hit with this unpleasant sickness.
Fortunately, there are several natural ways you can ready yourself to stay healthy during this season. Check out these seven simple but effective ways to avoid the flu this winter – and take comfort in the fact that they’re all natural practices.
Stress can leave your body at risk for coming down with an illness this season. Even though stress is a typical response to certain scenarios, short-term and long-term stress can negatively impact your body. When you experience undue stress, your immune system can be suppressed, which leaves it open to threats like the flu.
Find a way to manage your stress this winter, so you can prevent the flu from taking its toll on your body. Participate in a yoga class or find a relaxing hobby to relieve pent-up tension.
Wash Your Hands
Regularly rid your hands of germs if you want to limit your exposure to the flu. When an infected person touches a surface or sneezes, the virus on those surfaces or in the air can remain a threat for several hours.
And because you can’t keep track of what substances are on a surface, the best option to hold off from this sickness is to scrub your hands with soap and warm water.
Sip Or Gargle Green Tea
Green tea is a natural antiviral measure that wards off the flu, and studies show it reduces the likelihood that you’ll develop this sickness if you consistently gargle it. The tea’s catechins have a beneficial antioxidant property that fights off the virus.
You don’t have to gargle the tea if you enjoy the warm drink anyway. Just fix yourself a fresh cup of green tea, and as you drink it, know that you’re protecting your well being.
Comfort foods are perfect for winter, but when you snack on sugary foods, they can weaken your immune system and leave your body vulnerable to the flu.
Opt for healthy snacks this winter and reduce your sugar intake. Pack your body full of the nutrients it needs to fend off germs that could leave you sniffling and under the weather.
Your immune system is your defense mechanism from the flu, and one way to bolster it is to stay in shape. Exercising allows your body to properly control inflammation and fight infection.
Follow a fitness routine this winter to strengthen your body and your immune system. You can brave the cold for a quick jog or join an indoor group class to build muscle.
Water is your best friend when it comes to staying hydrated, and it can regulate the nutrients in your body while flushing out unnecessary or harmful substances. Keep sipping water during the winter to keep your body ready to resist the flu.
Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks and stick with water or hot herbal tea. Reduce your alcohol consumption, too, because it’s a diuretic which won’t hydrate you.
Get A Full Night Of Rest
The quality and duration of sleep determine if your body completely recovers from your day. During a typical night, your body generates what you need to respond to infection during the day – cytokines. If you do get exposed to droplets of the virus, you need a serious dose of sleep to recuperate and prevent further symptoms. Boost your health by sleeping for seven to nine hours each night.
Stay Healthy During This Season
When the frigid weather and spike in flu cases threatens your health, take natural and cautious efforts to maintain your health. You can focus on your immune system and try a few strategies to fight off infection this season.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.
You can read another of Emily’s articles here.