That sore throat, those aches and pains, the feeling of your nose being both congested and running at the same time. No one likes being sick. When it seems like everyone around you is coughing and sneezing and calling in sick to work, or worse, coming into work sick, here are some things you can do to make sure you don’t catch a cold or flu.
Keep your hands to yourself
You’re probably tired of hearing this but it’s true. The less you touch the things that other people have touched, like door handles and bathroom faucets, the less likely you will be to pick up their germs. When you can, use your elbows to touch these things instead of your hands. And keep your hands away from your mouth!
Don’t forget to wash your hands
Studies show that the more you wash your hands, the less likely you are to get sick, so soap up! But steer clear of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers, which don’t actually prevent you from getting sick and can even weaken the immune system.
Get lots of exercise
If you’re already sick, it’s probably not a good idea to drag yourself to spin class, but if you’re trying not to get sick, staying on top your fitness routine will help. Any activity that gets your heart pumping will help increase the amount of virus-killing cells within your body, so lace up those sneakers!
Indoor winter air is much more dry than our bodies would like. Without enough moisture, our immune system cells can’t be at their best, so make sure to drink as much water as possible. You can even get a humidifier or a nebulizer with some essential oils, like the Saje Wellness Immune Diffuser Blend ($20).
Avoid foods that weaken the immune system
Processed sugars, grains, oils and alcohol suppress the part of the immune system that fights bacteria and viruses and protects you from getting sick. Avoiding these foods is probably one of the easiest things you can do to avoid getting sick this season.
Fill up on foods that support the immune system
A strong immune system starts in the gut, so just as certain foods can weaken the immune system, there are some foods that can strengthen it. One way to prevent yourself from getting sick is to fill up on fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and miso, which promote healthy gut flora.
Sip herbal tea
If you love to sip on tea during the cold winter months, you might as well sip on an herbal tea that is going to prevent you from getting sick. Nettle leaf, raspberry leaf and elderberry are a few of our favourites and we like to have David’s Tea Throat Rescue from ($16) on hand this time of year.
Drink apple cider vinegar
If you’ve done everything you can to avoid getting sick but still feel that tickle in your throat, gargle a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and then drink another tablespoon, stirred into water, each hour. Apple cider vinegar will alkalize the body and kill viruses and bacteria.