Staying healthy during cold and flu season is particularly challenging, especially during winter. During this time of year, we are more susceptible to illness and are much more likely to catch something. It is vitally important to take extra measures to protect one’s health and overall wellness during this season.
Why are we more likely to get colds and flu in winter?
The winter season is the perfect breeding ground for the cold and flu viruses to spread between people. This is due to the cooler temperatures and lack of sunlight, which can weaken our immune system and make us more vulnerable to catching illnesses.
During this time, we tend to spend more time indoors in close quarters with others, creating ideal conditions for germs and viruses to propagate through contact or polluted surfaces.
It seems impossible to completely avoid the illnesses that accompany this time of the year. However, you can certainly take some preventative measures for staying healthy during cold and flu season.
7 Measures to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
1. Get Vaccinated
The most important way to stay healthy during cold and flu season is to get a flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated will not only protect oneself from the flu, but it can also protect those who are unable to get the vaccine or are more at risk of having a severe case of the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6+ months of age receive a flu vaccine by the end of October, in order to best prepare for the upcoming cold and flu season.
2. Take Good Care of Personal Hygiene
Practicing good hygiene is key to staying healthy. Germs and bacteria can easily spread from contact with the hands, surfaces, and objects that are contaminated.
Washing hands regularly with soap and warm water will help to prevent the spread of these germs and bacteria. Using an alcohol-based sanitizer is a great alternative.
In addition to washing hands regularly, it is also important to be mindful of what comes into contact with your body. It is important to stay up to date on what items in your house and at work may be contaminated and how best to clean them off before coming into contact with them.
Being mindful of your environmental wellness is key to avoiding illness and the setback it brings to your well-being.
3. Get Proper Sleep
Getting the right amount of rest is immensely important during this time. Make sure you are aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Minimal or disrupted sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, making it more likely that you may catch something. Proper healing is necessary for your day-to-day physical functioning and wellness.
You can read our article “ 6 Tips for a Good Sleep in Winter” on how to get a good routine sleep in winter.
4.Eat a Healthy Diet
The most important thing you can do during this time is to maintain a healthy diet. Eating immune-boosting foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy sources of fat can help to keep your body in its healthiest state.
Additionally, limit your intake of processed foods, and sugar as these can weaken your immune system.
Zinc-containing foods like beef, spinach, and wheat germ help to create antibodies to fight germs. Garlic, turmeric, and elderberries contain antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help protect you from illnesses.
5. Add Vitamin C Supplement To Your Diet
Adding Vitamin C to your diet can be a great way to help fight off the flu and boost your immune system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the symptoms of colds and even lessen the time it takes for you to get better.
Furthermore, consuming ample amounts of Vitamin C helps strengthen our cells so they're able to cope better with physical stressors like an infection. So if winter is coming around and you want to do something to reduce the risk of getting sick, incorporate vitamin C into your diet.
Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost your immunity and fight the flu. Not only does exercise increase circulation, allowing your body to deliver nutrients, oxygen, and protective antibodies more quickly, but it also helps activate cells that are essential for fighting off viruses and preventing colds.
Additionally, regular physical activity can reduce stress levels, which further contributes to a stronger immune system, a healthy body, an active mind, and a sense of overall personal wellness.
Lastly, one of the best ways to take preventative measures against cold and flu season is to stay away from sick people. Avoid close contact with those who appear to be unwell and don’t share utensils, food, or drinks with them. If you do happen to catch an illness, seek medical attention right away to increase your chances of getting better sooner.
Staying healthy during cold and flu season can be challenging, but if you follow these simple measures, you can protect yourself and the people around you.
Additionally, listening to your body and understanding when to take preventative measures are important for maintaining your health and wellness. By following these measures, you can stay healthy and remain vigilant during this cold and flu season.