With a chill in the air and the colder months are upon us, it’s important we take steps to protect our bodies – and immune systems – against the changing seasons and ever-present threat of illness. Colds, flus, viruses and the like all threaten to knock us down. Here are some ways to make sure you avoid getting sick this winter and stay on your feet.
Hippocrates famously said, ‘all disease begins in the gut.’ Whether that’s true or not, keeping a healthy gut is important to feeling your best. A great way to ensure you have a healthy digestive system is to take probiotics, the naturally occurring bacteria that help our bodies function properly. Eat natural yogurt or take supplements that are full of live bacteria chains and start feeling your best, from the inside out.
Use Essential Oils
There are several essential oils that are shown to improve our immune systems. As a natural remedy, essential oils can help keep you from getting sick or shorten the length of time you feel your symptoms.
If you have a virus, lemon essential oil helps ward off its effects. Peppermint essential oil is known to help reduce the chances of catching a cold or fever. Using Eucalyptus essential oil in an aromatherapy burner will help you avoid breathing in viruses, bacteria and other contaminates from the air.
Get Enough Sleep
We have already mentioned the benefits in previous blogs of how getting enough rest can help your health. This is especially true when you’re trying to not get sick. Rest is so important to your immune system. As you sleep, your body is able to repair itself. Being sleep deprived may cause you to actually stay sicker, longer. Studies have shown that when you’re running on little sleep, your T-cell count decreased. These cells are integral in keep your immune system healthy. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to make sure your body is operating at its best.
Keep Your Nose Warm
As kids, many of us were told by our mothers to put on jackets ‘or we’ll catch our death.’ While wearing a jacket is important, it would have been more prudent for them to instruct us to put on scarves, and to keep our noses warm. Cilia in our noses and sinuses help sweep illness-causing pathogens away. However, these cilia work best when they’re kept warm. Cold temperatures cause the cilia to move slower thus making it easier for the bad pathogens to be introduce in the body.
Exercise is good for the heart, lungs, and the entire body. It is also good for the immune system. Korean researchers found that exercise can reduce your risk of catching a cold by 27 percent. Moderate- to high-intensity activity can also help you fight a cold or virus if you’ve already contracted it. The production of epinephrine in your body during exercise helps relieve nasal discomfort. Plus, a good workout will help you sleep better too.
Taking the time to care for your body while you’re healthy will help you stay healthy during the changing of the seasons. These tips can help you enjoy the most the seasons have to offer.