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Ahhh, the weather is getting colder and flu season is upon us! It’s that time of the year where more and more of us tend to get sick so I thought this post couldn’t be more timely. Truthfully, I am one of the lucky ones who doesn’t get sick too often. I do feel like I used to get sick a lot more growing up, but there’s things I do now that I think prevent me from getting ill.
Now, I realize that some people simply just have weaker immune systems than others. I sympathize if you are one of those people! However, I still hope these tips help for the ladies out there who get sick all of the time and the ladies who maybe only get sick once in awhile like me!
Wash Your Hands
You may call me a germaphobe. I am shamelessly one and proud of it and truly believe it’s saved me one too many times in avoiding getting sick. Any time I touch something on public transportation, shake hands with someone, or get done cleaning, I am making sure to wash my hands. If water and soap aren’t within reach right away, I carry around a tiny Bath & Body Works anti-bacterial sanitizer.
Get Quality Sleep
No matter how hard I work or how much I have on my plate, I aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Everyone’s magic number of sleep is going to vary, but I find mine is about seven and a half. Any more or less, I tend to be dragging or groggy. Sleep is proven to help prevent sickness and it’s the easiest thing you can do for yourself!
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies
While I love indulging in pizza and ice cream, I make it a point to incorporate fruits and veggies as part of my food intake every day. I love that at my yearly check-ups with my doctor, I proudly tell her I eat at least 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
My favorite fruits tend to be strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oranges, and apples. The great thing about fruits is a lot of them have many antioxidants and contain Vitamin C that help in preventing coughs and colds. In a German study, researchers noted that a deficiency in Vitamin C can lead to a weaker immune system. Oranges in particular are packed with Vitamin C, while blueberries are filled with antioxidants.
My favorite veggies to eat are spinach, cucumbers and tomatoes. More veggies than fruits tend to be superfoods that are so, so good for your body. Spinach, for example, is a superfood that contains Vitamin C and digestion-regulating fiber which is essential to remaining healthy. Tomatoes, like oranges, have high concentrations of Vitamin C. I think you’re probably starting to see a theme – get your Vitamin C in, friends!
As the weather gets colder, it can be tempting to put off your workout and instead curl up on your couch and binge watch Netflix. By all means, relax and watch some TV. But don’t skip those workouts! Exercise is a special ingredient to avoid getting sick. It gets your blood pumping and endorphins flowing. The British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off bugs. Just remember upon leaving your fitness class or the gym, wash your hands! That equipment is full of germs!
Sometimes all it takes is drinking good ol’ water to combat sickness. I swear drinking pretty much nothing but water throughout my day aids in keeping me healthy. It’s a good way to flush out anything icky going on in your body and prevent any illness! Definitely make sure you are reaching for water versus high calorie and high sugar sodas and juices.
Open Some Windows
As it gets colder, windows close and your furnace is constantly pumping out heat. The problem with this is that there is no fresh air coming into your home. In this type of environment, germs are more prone to staying around and spreading. Especially if someone in your home gets sick and you want to avoid the illness at all costs, it can be a good idea to open your windows. It helps create maximum ventilation so that it reduces the risk of contracting the illness. I really try to do this every so often in the winter on days where it’s not too unbearably cold. Gotta get that fresh air!
When in Doubt, Zicam
I’ll never forget a few years ago when Adam and I were visiting his parents and I felt myself coming down with a cold. I mentioned it to my mother-in-law and she immediately handed me a Zicam nose swab. I had never used it before but she swore by it. She told me the second I started feeling a sickness coming on, to use the nose swabs the next few days. I did and lo and behold, I never got sick. I’ve since become a Zicam believer and have now deemed it my secret weapon to not getting sick!
Hope these tips help! What do you do to avoid getting sick? I’d love to hear if there’s any other tricks out there!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.