There are a lot of myths about ways to stay healthy at this time of year. But there are a lot of good facts too! Read on for 10 important tips to keep up your immune health and improve your chances of staying in tip-top shape…
1. Get Your Flu Shot!
The recommendations for getting a flu shot have recently changed, and now it’s really, really simple. Get one! The flu shot is now recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. The more people in your area get their shot, the less likely there will be a flu outbreak. So encourage everyone around you to get one too. Now it’s easier to get the shot, since many pharmacies are offering them. And it’s never too late in the season - do it today!
2. Wash Your Hands Often
When you get home, when you get to the office, after using the restroom, before you prepare food or drinks, before you eat, after going to a store, after using public transportation or being in crowds, before going to bed, etc., etc. Hand washing is the most important way to keep germs out of your system. Simple things like touching your eyes, your nose, or your mouth can bring germs into contact with entry points into your body. And hand washing is most important when you’re around anyone who is sick. If you share an office, desk or any other space with someone who appears under the weather, be sure to clean all surfaces with antiseptic cleaners too.
3. Use Instant Sanitizers
While hand washing is the most effective way to stop the spread of germs, it’s not always possible. When you’re in public places like hospitals, doctor’s offices and schools you see hand sanitizers everywhere. Use them! And it’s a great idea to carry hand sanitizers with you when you’re out and about. There are many small ones that fit in a pocket or purse, including convenient, combined sanitizer and moisturizers.
4. See Your Doctor
If you can, take the opportunity of getting your annual flu shot to schedule an annual check-up. Research has shown that people who visit their doctor regularly stay healthy longer.
At this time of year getting regular exercise can be a challenge. But exercise supports your immune system and helps keep you healthy. People who do regular daily exercise are up to 30% less likely to get the sniffles than people who are sedentary. So fitting physical activity into a busy holiday schedule is well worth it! Try something simple like parking at the far end of the lot when you’re doing holiday shopping. And if you can, squeeze in a long walk or a more vigorous workout. You’ll feel better!
6. Get Enough Fluids
When it’s cooler outside it’s easy to forget to drink enough, because you often don’t feel thirsty. Don’t rely on the heat to stimulate your thirst. You still need just as much liquid, 6 to 8 cups a day for most people, all year round. Fluids are essential to keep us from becoming dehydrated, especially important when we’re susceptible to colds or flu. Some teas are also loaded with antioxidants. And don’t forget chicken soup! It turns out that mom was right – chicken soup can help our bodies get well.
7. Get As Much Sun As You Can
The sun doesn’t only lift your mood, now we know it is essential to our health in many other ways. One important side effect is the production of Vitamin D. The human body can only make Vitamin D when our skin is exposed (the more the better) to the sun’s rays. Darker skin may require more sun exposure to make Vitamin D. In the winter months experts recommend everyone should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement; and some may benefit from supplementing year-round. Why? Vitamin D has been shown to be beneficial for many areas of health, including immune health.
Because Vitamin D is so important to our health, Schiff® has created high potency Mega-D3®. Mega-D3® gives you 5,000 IU of natural Vitamin D3 (more powerful than synthetic Vitamin D2) plus resveratrol and red wine extract. Together they support immune and cardiovascular health, and many other key areas of health that decline with age.*
8. Get Enough Sleep
During the holidays sleep is often the first thing we cut back on. But not getting enough sleep puts the immune system at risk. Sleep is important for proper immune function. Lack of adequate sleep can suppress the immune system and may increase the risk of season illness. So make an effort to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
9. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
The holidays equal food, for most people. But what kind of food? If your traditions include lots of rich, heavy holiday meals, it’s time to create a balance. Try creating lower fat substitutions in favorite recipes – it’s easier than you think! And usually no one will notice the difference in taste. And remember the rest of the day, and week. You can fit in more fruits and vegetables and lower fat, lower calorie meals all around the holidays. The more fruits and vegetables, in the more colors, the better! You know you’re getting a wide variety of immune-boosting nutrients and antioxidants when you have a rainbow of produce, because each color carries unique nutrients your body needs.
10. Give Yourself Real Immune Support
The key ingredients in Airborne® products have been shown to support the immune system.* Airborne contains a proprietary blend of Vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of zinc & selenium.