Cold and flu season is upon us as the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler. Falling ill can hit out of nowhere and disrupt just about every part of daily life. Before your body even has a chance of getting sick, follow these tips to start preparing for cold and flu season now.
While cozying up with filling comfort foods is definitely called for from time to time (we’re looking at you, Thanksgiving), don’t be tempted to reach for the junk food every time it gets chilly. Keeping a nutritious diet is important in maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are what keep your body and immune system strong.
Opt for a diet containing foods like fish, yogurt, blueberries, citrus fruits, oats, and nuts.
Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee, make it a habit to sip on hot tea. Not only can hot tea break up chest congestion and soothe a sore throat, but tea also contains antioxidants called catechins, which have flu-fighting properties.
Building off our previous point of eating and drinking to stay healthy, staying hydrated with water is an absolute must. A study was conducted on how water intake can affect one’s susceptibility to catching the flu. Water is necessary for every function of the body and when it comes to illness prevention, water intake is critical to keeping the lining of the nose moist. Moisture inside the nose acts as a way to trap pollutants like bacteria and dust from entering the lungs.
According to the study, “The research found that those who drank just three glasses of water a day were five times more likely to get a blocked nose or a sore throat than those who drank eight.”
Proper hydration helps you prepare your body for cold and flu season and also helps keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. During the dry months of winter, your skin can use all the TLC it can get. Believe us, we even wrote an entire blog post about it!
Rather than playing catch up when you start to feel a cold coming on, make it a habit to drink plenty of water now. Staying hydrated is especially important because when you sleep at night, your body naturally loses water through respiration and transpiration. This leaves your feeling fatigued upon waking up, which is why additional hydration of your indoor air is important, leading us to our next tip.
Image source: Munchkins and Moms
When it comes to a healthy home for cold and flu season, your air quality should be a top priority. Humidity levels plummet during the winter months, creating prime conditions for a cold and flu to develop.
Dry atmospheric conditions outdoors along with dry indoor air from heating systems can have detrimental effects on the body. Dry skin, respiratory ailments like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds are all common dry air problems. Dehydration is another side effect of dry air, particularly from sleeping in a dry indoor environment that can leave you feeling fatigued.
The obvious solution to dry air is a humidifier. The problem with this, however, is that not all humidifiers are created equally. Some humidifiers that force moisture into your air can actually create more health problems than they are preventing. Increasing humidity levels to improve your health can be a double-edged sword.
This is why Venta is the safest option when it comes to humidifying. Our unique Cold Evaporation technology works without filters to efficiently humidify your indoor air without the danger of over-humidification or releasing bacteria back into your air. Too much moisture can create ideal conditions for excessive mold growth. This is another reason why Venta is the ideal choice for humidification because our Cold Evaporation technology ensures your indoor air only takes the moisture it needs, never more. Over-humidification is impossible with this system.
The Airwasher is a win with moms because it is simple and safe. The unit does not become hot to the touch, so you’ll never have to worry about kiddos bumping into it and getting burned. No dangerous bacteria emitted makes it the ideal product for nurseries and bedrooms, providing comfortable, moisturized air during the winter months. Keeping your air quality healthy for preventing a cold and flu has never been easier.
Image source: Food Fanatic
Regular exercise strengthens the immune system. While you may have an activity plan in place during the spring and summer, now is the time to start coming up with a plan for the fall and winter. The colder it gets, the tougher it can be to get outside for a workout.
As we’ve mentioned before, it can be tempting to cozy up with filling comfort foods under a blanket when the weather starts to turn. But keeping activity levels high will help keep your body working and strengthening its immune system.
Studies have been conducted to find the correlation between physical activity and immune system benefits. One researcher explains that activity revs up the body’s defense mechanisms:
“Within minutes of starting your exercise routine, your body’s circulating levels of white blood cells, natural killer cells and other sickness-fighting agents increase, Nieman says. Likening them to the military’s special operations forces. These immune system warriors seek out and attack invading viruses or bugs. The more active you are, the more active your immune system tends to be.”
Whether it’s finding a gym you can join, or making a conscious effort to go out for walks and hikes, be sure to add physical activity to your daily routine so you can keep your body’s immune system in top shape.
There’s nothing worse than waking up with a cold or the flu and realizing you have nothing to help with the symptoms. Before cold and flu season really hits, make sure you have pain relief medicines, decongestants, antihistamines, and cough medicines ready to go.
Now is also the time to get your flu vaccine, as this is one of the best ways to prepare for flu season. It’s better to protect yourself from the flu before you get it, as it is incredibly contagious. Most flu shots are available at local pharmacies by October.
This goes without saying, but getting an adequate amount of rest is key to helping yourself from catching the cold and flu. Especially if you have a busy schedule with work, social engagements and physical activity, your body can easily get burned out if you’re not resting enough.
While we said staying active is important and helpful, we also want to stress that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Be sure to listen to your body, and when you feel fatigued, rest. Making sure you and your kiddos are getting the rest they need will help the whole household better prepare for cold and flu season.
Before months of dry air and cold weather occupy just about every part of the country, follow these tips starting now to better prepare yourself against catching a cold and the flu. Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Let us know!