I've already heard the little whispers of colds and flus this winter around the blogosphere. Because I was hospitalized with a potentially fatal infection last year that all started out as a nasty little flu bug, I'm doing all I can to stay as healthy as possible during this "giving season", the season of germ spreading.
The best offense to staying healthy is a good defense. Keep your immune system strong. I honestly don't need to tell you this, but you may have put things on the back burner while overly busy during the holidays, right? Remember how many people get sick during January. Do what you can to avoid being one of them! A little experimentation will help you find the things that work best for you. Here's a list of a few things I'm doing that you might try:
1) Get enough sleep. Make it a priority. All that stuff that keeps you busy & up at night generally isn't as important as you think it is. You'll be healthier and in a better mood.
2) Eat well. Make sure to keep up the healthy eating in the colder weather months. There are so many great leafy greens to enjoy at this time of year. It's hard to overdo it with the healthy vegetables, try!
3) Think about vitamins and minerals. One year I was very religious about making sure I took a small vitamin C supplement every day and I did not get any respiratory ailments that year. That has never happened before or since. You might try taking a daily multi-vitamin. I like to sprinkle some powdered Vitamin C in orange juice in the morning and stir well.
4) Spice things up. Eat lots of fresh garlic, cayenne pepper & ginger. They are considered super foods that heal the body. I like fresh grated ginger, a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice in a glass of lemonade for a healthy kick. I sneak garlic into everything I can.
5) Drink plenty, plenty, plenty of water. It hydrates the body, but also cleanses the body and removes toxins.
6) Exercise. Even if it's cold with proper attire you can enjoy the great outdoors. Exercise helps keep muscles and bones strong and works out your respiratory system to keep it strong too. I believe you can chase a lot of stuff out with some good sweat-producing exercise.
7) Make time to get some sunshine on your cheeks. This is for mental health purposes mainly, but it surely helps the spirits too. And we all know that mental health is a huge key to physical health. The body follows the mind's lead.
8) Keep a humidifier going in your house. Cool mist is great for the sinuses. If you do get sick a humidifier near the bed will help to breath more freely all night long. Humidifiers in winter are also fantastic for your skin.
9) Give your home a dose of eucalyptus. You can put branches in your shower or use a little eucalyptus oil in a diffuser. It will help you keep your sinuses clear and healthy. You know that smell in your chest rub goo? It's eucalyptus.
10) Use germ-killing mouthwash and saline nasal spray every day. Germs love your mouth, your throat and your nasal passages. Daily saline use will keep things from growing in your sinuses and a good strong mouthwash will kill lots of stuff that wants to multiply in your mouth. I swear by this plan as do friends of mine.
Hope you stay healthy and well this winter and all throughout the year. Take good care of yourself! And then even if you do get a little bug it won't be nearly as severe because you'll have a strong body fighting back. Stay strong, people!