It’s that time of year when everyone starts sharing the one thing you wish they’d keep to themselves: Germs. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you stay healthy this winter.
1. Wash your Hands and use hand sanitizer. Bacteria and viruses find their way into our bodies via all of the various things we touch. From the grocery store shopping carts to the door handle coming out of the public restrooms, bacteria and viruses are lurking and waiting for us to touch. Use a paper towel to turn off the water in the restrooms and open the doors; Use disinfectant wipes to wipe down your shopping cart at the store; Once a day wipe down your phones and computer keyboards at work and carry hand sanitizer in your car (or keep it at your desk) so you can use it once you get back into “the safe zone”. Consistently washing your hands and using hand sanitizer will help keep you healthy.
2. Don’t Touch Your Face. The average person touches their face three to five times a MINUTE which translates into 180-300 times an hour. Think about all the places you go and all the various things you touch that have been touched by other people. Yeah, gross. Conscientiously think about not touching your face to minimize the germs you spread.
3. Herbs. Contrary to popular belief they are not just for cooking any more. Gargling with Sage will soothe a soar throat and guards against infections; Elderberry Extract will decrease the length of the cold and soften the symptoms; Gargle with Salt water. It soothes the soar throat and loosens nasty mucus in the throat; Drinking hot ginger tea is a great method for preventing the flu; Garlic pills will ward off illness. And vampires. So, double whammy.
4. Eat Healthy Well-balanced Meals and Snacks. When we are healthy eaters, our bodies retrain the nutrients necessary to fight off the illnesses. Try snacking on Brazil Nuts. They are heavy in protein, which is good for the body, but they are also high in selenium, which increases production of proteins called cytokines that are important for the immune system. Have a 1 oz serving a few times per week.
5. Good Nights Sleep. Sleep is the first thing that we sacrifice to get our huge to-do lists done. And, that is one of the major contributing factors of illness. A tired body cannot fight the bacteria and viruses that plague the places we go. The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep a night and yet most adults are getting less than six. No wonder so many people are sick. Put the to-do lists away and allow yourself the rest you need. Especially once you are sick. Rest is the best way for your body to heal itself.
6. Drink lots of Water. Water makes up over half of your body weight. Every single part of your body needs water to be able to function correctly. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses each day.
7. Regular Exercise a few times a week can help decrease stress which increases a persons chance of getting sick. It also strengthens the body’s ability to fight germs. Yoga is a great way to not only strengthen, stretch and tone your muscles but Yoga also boosts your immune system. My yoga instructor suggested practicing the Lion pose a few times a day when you feel a cold coming on because it brings fresh blood to your throat and scares away germs. Win win.
How do YOU keep your family healthy?