The 3 Week Diet

Avoid the Flu Through the Rest of Winter

 

We’ve gotten through the holidays and the snow, and are thankfully getting into winter’s final stretch.  But just because you can glimpse the spring light at the end of the wintery tunnel does not mean you should stop being proactive about protecting yourself from the flu just yet.  The flu can strike just as easily at the end of winter as it can at the beginning, and its effects are equally unpleasant. 

 

To head in to spring as healthy as possible, follow these tips to help ward off the flu and keep your body feeling great:

 

At Home

·         Get Vaccinated – If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, there is still time to do so.  Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccination to ensure protection from specific strands of the flu.

 

·         Use a Humidifier – Humid air is thought to possibly be toxic to flu viruses, so invest in a humidifier to keep your home at a humidity level between 40 and 60 percent. 

 

·         Stay Out of the Cold Instead of running off to the pharmacy with wet hair (especially if you’re already sick!) consider using mail order prescriptions.  These let you order up to a 90-day supply of medications that will be delivered to your home, allowing you to stay warm and out of the cold, wet weather that can trigger sicknesses. 

 

·         Get Covered – Investing in health care is a smart decision, especially in the winter when you’re much more likely to need a doctor.  Certain health coverage programs have added benefits that can make dealing with sicknesses even simpler; Michigan Health Care, for instance, offers a physician search on its website to help locate the doctors nearest you.  If you go in for a check-up this winter and do end up sick, having health insurance makes sure you’re covered. 

 

Healthy Eating/Drinking

·         Get Your Dairy – One of the best flu-fighting foods you can eat is yogurt: it and other milk products contain probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help boost your immune system.  Look for products with “live active culture” labels to ensure that you are getting as many probiotics as possible, as well as ones containing high levels of vitamin D.  Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to higher flu rates, so get as much of it as you can.

 

·         Choose Veggies with Color – Eating any type of vegetable is always a smart health decision, but dark leafy greens or bright colored vegetables are especially effective at preventing the flu.  The natural chemicals in plants are responsible for their colors and are great at boosting your immune system.

 

·         Focus on Fluids… – Keep your body hydrated with lots of fluids this winter.  Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can have and parallels the “eat your colors” vegetable policy.

 

·         …But Limit Your Alcohol – Heavy alcohol use has been shown to suppress immune systems as well as dehydrate bodies, neither of which helps to prevent viruses.  Be conscious of your alcohol intake and cut yourself off after one or two drinks to keep your immune system strong.

 

Smart Exercise

·         exercise classDo Aerobics Regularly – Heart-pumping exercises makes you sweat more and breathe quickly in order to get oxygen into your blood, increasing your body’s virus-killing cells.  Set a regular exercise schedule to keep these cells at a high level.

 

·         Treat Yourself to a Sauna – While scientists don’t officially understand the reasoning behind it, one study found that people who used a sauna twice a week got half as many colds as those who did not.  One theory suggests this is because when you steam, you inhale air that is too hot for cold and flu viruses.  Even if it isn’t 100% scientifically proven, at the very least, saunas can keep you warm during the last couple months of winter! 


There’s no guaranteed way to avoid the flu, but knowing what is best for your body can drastically minimize your risk of getting sick.  Following these tips will give you the best chance of ending the winter season flu-free and starting off spring feeling great.

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    Category: Flu

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