It’s that time of year again when everyone starts to get sick. Cold, flu, strep throat and bronchitis are some common illnesses that people face.
While everyone knows to wash their hands and cover their mouths when they cough, here are some other tips to help you stay healthy in the coming colder months.
1. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is an essential that every human needs. According to FamilyWize.org, sleep can help you stay healthy this winter because sleep allows the body to restore and rebuild. When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, their body doesn’t have time to fight off infection and as a result, they can get sick.
2. Drink tea.
Instead of opting for a cup of hot chocolate, switch it up occasionally and go for a cup of tea. The Heart Foundation says that drinking tea dates back to ancient China. Black and green teas have antioxidant effects, which over time can make blood vessels healthier and lower your risk of heart disease.
3. Change your toothbrush regularly.
Everyone brushes their teeth, but what many may not realize is that changing your toothbrush after you’ve been sick is important. Whether you’ve had a cold, the flu or a sore throat, Parents.com says you should change your toothbrush because germs can hide and remain in the toothbrush and lead to reinfection.
4. Get some light.
Parents.com also reports that you should get out into the sun for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. Six out of every 100 Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD,) which according to Mayo Clinic is “a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.” If you aren’t exposed to the right amount of light, it is recommended to take Vitamin D, exercise or be exposed to light therapy to try and reverse the effects of minimal exposure to sunlight.
5. Sanitize your surroundings.
When people around you are sick, they may accidentally cough without covering their mouths or blow their nose and not wash their hands. They then go on with their day and anything they touch after that can have their germs transferred onto it. Waltonwood.com recommends wiping down surfaces if you know the people around you are sick to help kill germs and to prevent the germs from transferring to you.
6. Eat right and exercise regularly.
As the weather gets colder, it is easy to skip workouts and opt for curling up under some blankets with a snack instead. However, this is an unhealthy habit to get into. FamilyWize says that not exercising can lead to a weakened immune system. Exercising can “fortify the immune system and its defenses and can help lower stress levels, which can prevent our bodies from fighting off infection if levels are too high.” They also recommend staying away from overly sugary foods because they can negatively impact your immune system for hours after consumption.
7. Get a flu shot.
Lastly, it is important to get your flu shot. FamilyWize says this is especially important for children who are still building up their immune system or for the elderly who can suffer and struggle with serious complications that are caused by the flu. By getting a flu shot, Kindred Health Care acknowledges that the shot can help reduce the risk of the flu by half, and it can help reduce the side effects if you do get sick.
Being sick is no fun, especially when you have things to do. Hopefully these tips help you have sick-free fall and winter seasons.