Cold and Flu Guide
Health Maintenance - Winter Cold and Flu Guide
Winter is here! And if it hasn't hit you already, be prepared; tis the season for the cold and flu.
Contrary to what many people think, however, the cold weather is not the reason for our increased susceptibility to some of these nasty viruses, but rather, the fact that winter often brings a bit of slacking when it comes to our health. If you're being extra conscious of your daily health routine, you may be more immune than some others. But for many, neglecting your health will result in a suppressed immune system, meaning increased vulnerability to the cold and flu.
Avoid Getting Sick By Strengthening Your Immune SystemSome of the common causes for a suppressed immune system may be unhealthy eating, vitamin D deficiency, insufficient sleep and exercise, and high stress.
Some of the harmful foods we tend to overeat include sugar and grains. These foods should be eaten in moderation because they are highly detrimental to your immune system, which lies mostly in your gut. As always, it's important to eat a balanced, nutritional diet. Vitamin C, antioxidants, and probiotics are excellent things to look for in food, especially when you're trying to avoid a cold. And keep in mind that vitamins and nutrients are best absorbed through food, rather than pills.
Most importantly, wash your hands! Especially when you're around anyone who's sick.
What To Do When You Think You're SickStudies have been shown that vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, can not only help you prevent a flu or cold, but also help get rid of it faster. If you aren't able to get regular access to the sun, you might want to consider enriching your diet with vitamin D3 supplements.
Zinc has also been proven to help, and should be taken at the first sign of a cold or flu, as well as the other nutrients mentioned above. If you're looking for a hot beverage that will contribute to the cause, try drinking some green tea.
What To Do When You Know You're SickIt is best to try to avoid some of the over the counter medicines, if you're able to. Some of these medications can actually slow down your healing process by interfering with the body's natural way of combating the virus. For instance, a slight fever and fatigue occur naturally; it means your body is fighting off the cold, so interfering with that will only make it take longer. As long as your fever is not more than 102, you should let your immune system do its magic and simply rest as much as possible while getting all the nutrients you can and drinking plenty of water.
If you're temperature is above 102, and you're experiencing shortness of breath, uncontrollable cough, and/or pain around the eyes or ears, you should call your physician.
Overall, Be Healthy!Your fate this cold and flu system really lies in your own hands. Get lots of sleep, drink lots of water, exercise, get some sun, eat healthy, and take some time to relax and laugh each day to maintain good mental health. And don't forget to wash your hands of course!
Posted In: Cold and Flu