We all know that taking extra care to wash hands and getting your flu shot are tried and true methods to stay healthy during flu season, but sometimes that just isn’t enough and we still get pummeled. Here are some additional ways to keep your immune system performing and the bugs at bay.
Flu season might be the most important time to get quality sleep. If you are drained and your body and brain are not properly rested, your immune system will be weaker — making you more susceptible to illnesses like the flu or the common cold. Get after those 8 hours of sleep to keep your immune system running at its best. While getting enough sleep can be a lot easier said than done, especially during the holidays, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of bedtime.
- Be proactive.
By planning your day out, you are less likely to forget to do something important. Eliminate some of your stress by taking five minutes every morning to prioritize your to-do’s for the day, and review it before you begin to wind down at night. It’s a simple exercise that could keep you from lying awake at 1am wondering if you forgot something.
- Wind down.
Shut your device off at least one hour before you head to bed. Studies show that the blue lights of our phones and computers suppresses the production of melatonin, which is a key component of healthy sleep. Instead of scrolling through your favorite feed, put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode, read a book, meditate, do some light stretching, or even sip on some herbal tea. This practice may take some time to get used to, but with a little discipline your new bedtime routine just might become the best part of your day.
- Don’t eat after 8 PM.
A bedtime snack can be a pleasant ritual, but food has calories, and your body turns calories into energy. Eating before bed sends the signal to your body that you are fueling up for an activity, not winding down for bed. Looking for ways to stop late night snacking? Here are some of our suggestions.
For more bedtime tips, check out 5 Tips for Better Sleep.
Fresh Air and Exercise
Getting your sweat on is a great way to keep your immune system up and running. Be sure that you are getting your heart rate up every day during cold and flu season. Sweating not only expels toxins, but getting your core temperature up also strengthens white blood cells, the workhorses of your immune system. Additionally, outdoor exercise is proven to reduce stress, a common cause of a depleted immune system. So incorporate some outdoor exercise, like a morning walk or jog, into your exercise routine. It’ll do wonders for your health and wellbeing.
Immune Boosting Foods
Eat your way to a flu-free winter! If you do not regularly drink or eat foods that are high in vitamin C, consider taking a vitamin C supplement consistently to keep your immune system strong. Leafy greens and fruits like strawberry, kiwi, and tomato are awesome sources of vitamin C. So when you are whipping up your morning smoothie during flu season, consider ingredients like papaya, cauliflower, and kiwi, all of which have more vitamin C than even your traditional orange.
If you are struggling to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, Orgain’s Superfoods powder is a great supplement to add to your daily routine instead. Orgain’s Superfoods powder has 28% of your recommended daily fiber, 5 billion probiotics, 50 organic superfoods, and only 50 calories per serving. Simply add to your favorite smoothie recipes, like our Cold Buster Citrus Smoothie. For a hearty meal, serve up Superfoods White Bean and Kale Soup or Superfoods Green Curry.
These tips and recipes are easy and delicious ways to help you and your family stay flu-free this season!