Flu Season Is Just Around the Corner — Here's What You Can Do to Get Ahead of It.
This year's flu season is estimated to be the most widespread since health officials began keeping track 13 years ago. Officials also say that It has already caused the death of more children and adults than what normally would be expected at this time of the year.
In order to avoid being added to these statistics, prevention is key! Below are 7 things you can do to stave off the flu this winter season:
Tip 1: Eat Real Food
Real food consists of whole and fragmented foods that are found in nature with the least amount of processing involved before it reaches your table.
This is the food that is provided by God to keep us healthy and alive without debilitating diseases. Foods like apples, carrots, raw nuts and seeds. Foods that haven’t been loaded with hormones, pesticides and other unnatural chemicals. These are the foods you can grow (or raise) in your own backyard in an organic garden or by raising your own chickens for example.
Eating a variety of real foods provides your body with all the nutrients it needs to function and stay healthy. This should be your first food choice on a daily basis.
Tip 2: Exercise
Although when you think of preventing a cold you don’t necessarily think “I’d better exercise if I don’t want to get sick,” this is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and stay healthy during cold and flu season.
According to researcher Michael Flynn who studies the impact of exercise on the immune system at Purdue University, 30 minutes of exercise, three or four times a week, is the best way to boost your immune system. Any more will actually begin to have the reverse effect.
Tip 3: Get Plenty of Sleep
When you’re sick you need to get plenty of rest, but you can’t really “catch up” on sleep or make up for weeks or months of too little sleep.
Getting enough sleep on a regular basis is key to maintaining good health. Studies show that lack of sleep is associated with health problems and the inability to lose weight.
Tip 4: Enjoy yourself!
There’s nothing like stress to bring on all sorts of physical ailments including colds and flus.
One of the best ways to beat stress is to balance your life with fun. Take time to enjoy life and build joy each day. Whether it’s taking time to listen to your favorite music, or going to the movies or theater, or playing sports with your family or friends, it’s vital to include fun in your day — especially when it’s the last thing you feel like doing.
Tip 5: Get Plenty of Vitamin D
More and more is being revealed lately about the vast health benefits of vitamin D. Previously known to impact bone health, vitamin D deficiency is now implicated in many health issues.
To beat a cold or flu make sure you get plenty of safe sun exposure on a regular basis. If you live somewhere that only gets sun seasonally it’s a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement until your levels are adequate enough to take you through these sunless seasons.
Step 6: Take a Quality Multi-vitamin
Taking a multi-vitamin is a great step towards protecting your health. But not all multi-vitamins are created equal. It’s important that you choose a whole food multi-vitamin, not a synthetic one. Whole food multi-vitamins are as close to the real source of the vitamins and minerals that you can get. In fact, your body will be better able to recognize it, digest it and absorb the nutrients in it. Be sure the multi-vitamin you choose has the ISO certification on it. This ensures that you are getting a high-quality vitamin.
Tip 7: Avoid Sugar
Sugar is one of the worst things to consume, especially if you’re trying to stay healthy. Sugars weaken the immune system and help bacteria to grow. Avoiding sugars is key to staying healthy, particularly when you’re under stress or in the middle of cold and flu season.
There are great, all-natural sweeteners on the market so you don’t have to go without. Try stevia or raw honey in moderation. (And avoid artificial sweeteners — they’re fake foods!) Be sure to check labels of the foods you’re eating and avoid sugars here too.
No one wants to come down with a cold or the flu anytime. When you take the above seven steps to stay healthy, you’ll not only beat colds and the flu, you’ll also be protecting your body from other more serious chronic diseases that could really compromise your health down the road.
Note: These tips are for preventing the flu. However, if you or a loved one experience complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, or have a high fever that won’t go down, see your healthcare provider right away. If you catch the flu and you have a chronic condition, such as asthma, or you are pregnant, see your doctor.
Disclaimer: This content is strictly the opinion of Keri Watkins Webb, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition or supplement or lifestyle program.