Every winter, like clockwork, flu and cold season hits and suddenly everyone you know is a hacking, sneezing, sniffling mess. While weeks spent blowing your nose and forcing down cough syrup may seem unavoidable, the good news is that there are ways you can limit your chances of picking up that nasty bug that’s going around. Here are some handy tips to help keep you feeling your best this winter:
1. Wash Your Hands (A Lot)
This is, without a doubt, the most crucial move you can make when protecting yourself against cold and flu viruses. Reach for the soap before and after eating, and after coming into contact with others. Running through the alphabet in your head twice while sudsing up will help make sure you properly rid your hands of any pesky germs. On the go? Grab a handbag-friendly bottle of hand sanitizer.
2. Get Your Zzzs
Staying well rested is another essential step to take when fending off a cold. Besides giving you dark circles, a sleepless night can also often lead to a terrible case of the sniffles. The less time you spend recharging, the less ready and able your body is to fight off whatever harmful bacteria may be lingering in the air or covering that seemingly innocent doorknob. So make sure you spend some quality time between the sheets (around 7 hours) every night.
3. Eat Your Vitamins
Popping a multivitamin at breakfast is great, but eating a diet rich in antioxidants”think fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds”will really give your immune system the added boost that it needs to stay strong and arm you against that terrible cold that’s making its way around your office. It’s simple: eat healthy, stay healthy.
4. Keep Your Toothbrush Fresh
It’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush around every three months, but during this germy season, it may be wise to invest in a new one more often (i.e., monthly). Also: If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself flu-ridden, don’t forget to ditch your toothbrush (and the bacteria) after you’re back to your normal, happy, healthy self.
5. Go Herbal
While the official jury is still out, herbs like Echinacea and Ginseng have been said to help strengthen your immune system and ward off the common cold. So, adding herbal supplements to your morning routine may be something to consider (just make sure you stick to the recommended dose). Another option: when you feel a cold coming on, munch on raw garlic. The pungent herb has been known to stop the virus right in its tracks (just make sure you use mouthwash afterwards).
6. Get Moving
Regular exercise does more than make you look great in your favourite skinnies, it also adds some serious muscle right where it counts: your immune system. By regularly getting your blood pumping, not only will you feel and look amazing, you’ll also be all the healthier inside out.
On top of possible breakouts and future grey hair (eep!), stress can also put strain on your vital organs. To keep strong and balanced, take some time to relax once and while. Join a yoga class or try at-home meditation to help keep calm, healthy and stress-free.