It may seem like a miracle to get through the winter months without getting sick, but the good news is that there are so many ways to stay healthy and avoid the notorious fever and runny nose that often accompany the flu and colds. Preventative action is always going to be the most painless route of staying healthy. Below we have several tips on how to keep yourself healthy and happy throughout the winter.
Stay Consistent With Your Vitamins
Your body is significantly less likely to catch the flu and other viruses when you are providing it with all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally. Eating nutritiously and supplementing with pill-form vitamins where your diet is lacking is an ideal way to keep in good health. As Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food.” Giving our bodies an abundance of nutrients is an excellent habit to form because it greatly decreases your chances of your body experiencing unpleasant symptoms of colds and cases of flu, with essentially zero negative side effects. Consider getting your bloodwork done to see which nutrients your body may be lacking. Consult with your primary care doctor about how to best implement nutrient-dense food into your diet.
Regular exercise plays an important role in keeping you healthy and preventing illnesses. In fact, several studies have shown that moderate exercise can improve immune systems and help prevent influenza, pneumonia, and other infections. Exercise can also help control your weight, reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, and strengthen your bones and muscles. Wondering how much you should exercise to reap the benefits? The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly.
Eat a Colorful Plate Of Fruits and Vegetables
Trying your best to eat a colorful plate of whole foods and limiting your intake of ultra-processed foods is an excellent gift you can give to yourself. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables is ideal for your body to be its healthiest because they contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds that give plants their colors, tastes, and smells. When humans eat plants, and thereby the phytonutrients within the plants, those phytonutrients protect us from disease. There isn’t one color of plant that is superior in nutritious value compared to another. This is why it’s important to eat a balance of all the colors. If you’re feeling extra proactive, try to leave the peels on your apples, peaches, eggplants since they provide a concentrated source of helpful, nutritious chemicals. This isn’t to say that you should skip on your favorite treats. However, adding as many fruits and vegetables as you can to your diet and remembering to take your vitamin supplements will allow your body to be substantially more resilient against the flu viruses you may come into contact with. Consider meeting with a registered dietician (RD) from Premier Family Medical to help you review your diet and help you implement healthy changes.
Wash Your Hands Often
As simple as it seems, washing your hands often is a sure-fire way to reduce the chance of you getting sick. People touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it, and these areas of the body let germs in. According to the CDC, hand washing reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40%, diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%, and respiratory illness, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%. The bottom line- washing your hands often is a heavy-hitter when it comes to protecting yourself from the flu. For the best results, use warm water, lather soap on your hands, and then scrub for at least 20 seconds. If it helps, sing the ABCs in your head twice- it ends up taking about 20 seconds. Keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your car or purse makes it easy to keep your hands germ-free even when you aren’t nearby a sink with soap. Remember, hand sanitizer shouldn’t replace regular hand washing but is a great way to supplement your hand hygiene when needed.
Keep High Traffic Surfaces Sanitized
Germs that can give you the flu or cold like to stick to surfaces like your phone, doorknobs, and the grocery cart you use when shopping. Investing in a package of alcohol wipes makes it easy to keep your phone screen clean from excess germs. Regularly using sanitizing wipes on the doorknobs in your home is a proactive way to get ahead of the illness and keep your household healthy during the winter months. When you go grocery shopping, many convenience stores have implemented a sanitizing wipe station before entering the store. Remembering to use a wipe before you continue shopping will help you come into contact with fewer germs, and thereby decrease your chances of getting sick.
Contact Premier Family Medical Today To Help You Stay Healthy
At Premier Family Medical, we value your health and wellness. Contact us today to learn about our medical plans and services. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you navigate which plans and services are best for you and your family, as well as provide answers to any questions you may have.