Jeannie started feeling under the weather late last month on her way home from work; but like most of us she ‘pushed through’ the fatigue and aches. “I thought I was just a little run down,” she admitted, “but man, was I wrong!”
In little less than a day, Jeannie realized this was going to take more “than a long bath and an early night” to get back into the swing of things. “I don’t have time to be sick,” she said, “and I don’t know many people who do.”
A cold is bad enough to go through, but getting the flu is worse. So how can you stay healthy when everyone else seems to be getting sick?
It’s true your best defense begins by washing your hands frequently and getting a flu shot, that’s not all you can do to keep those winter germs at bay.
Let’s look at the most effective ways to stay healthy during this year’s cold and flu season.
Yes, you read that right. I said ‘sing.’
Japanese researchers have found that singing helps boost your immune system. When you sing, cortisol (a stress-related hormone) levels drop, and immunoglobulin A (responsible for deflecting bacteria and viruses) amounts rise. When you sing, you’re actually strengthening your immune system against cold and flu bugs. So crank the radio and pick up that hairbrush. Your audience awaits. What better time to check out Knoxville Academy of Music and live your inner rockstar dream!
Yin yoga, a gentle yoga practice, has been found to reduce the duration and the intensity of cold and flu symptoms almost 50%. And a recent study by Tufts University found Tai Chi had similar benefits. So before you get sick, get in the habit of stopping by Breezeway Studios Yin Yasa class with Laura for a gentle yoga practice a couple of times per week that will have you feeling great all flu season long!.
Sleep is vital for good health and a healthy immune system. People who continually sleep fewer than seven hours each night are three times more likely to get sick! Studies have shown a reduced number of protective antibodies in individuals who received a flu shot and slept five or six hours a night when compared to flu-shot recipients who slept 8 hours.
A proper night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do to arm yourself during the cold and flu season.
Probiotics can lessen cold and flu symptoms by reducing the body’s inflammatory response to respiratory viruses. Rutgers studies found that while people who regularly consumed the probiotics Bifidobacterium animalis lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, seemed to catch a cold with the same frequency as those who didn’t take probiotics; their symptoms were less severe and the duration of their symptoms significantly shorter. Liquids, powders, capsules, yogurt or other probiotic-rich foods can help keep you healthy.
And if you’re short on time, Knoxville’s award-winning Volunteer Pharmacy has you covered: free delivery of those much-needed supplements!
When you think of ways to avoid coming down with the flu, you may not automatically think of a glass of water. But drinking between 8-10 glasses of water each day can help you stay healthy year-round. When our bodies become dehydrated, they draw moisture from the air at a higher rate than usual, and that can pull airborne viruses directly into our body, increasing our chances of getting sick.
Don’t like drinking plain water? Don’t despair. Try adding a slice of lemon or cucumber for a refreshing, flu-busting pick-me-up.
And here’s an extra tip: grab some lemon or lime-juice that’s not from concentrate and give your glass of water a squirt of juice. The juice contains vitamin C. If you have four glasses of water over the course of your day, you’ll get a full day’ dose of flu-fighting Vitamin C!
It’s no fun being sick, just ask Jeannie. “I know what to do now,” she smiles. “I wish I’d known then.”
Jeannie offered some final advice: “By taking care of yourself before you get sick, you can make the most out your day. And If you’re anything like me you have a heck of a lot in your day!”
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