It’s not only cold and flu season; it’s also that time of year when pneumonia, strep and bronchitis are more prevalent. Everybody knows how important it is to wash their hands often to prevent the spread of germs, but now there’s even more ways to defend yourself.
Want to stay healthy this year? Here are the best 19 tips for avoiding cold and flu.
- Eat Greek yogurt daily to reduce your risk of getting sick and fight germs with probiotics contained by nearly 30%.
- Drink green tea often. It contains a magic ingredient that fights the influenza virus and gets in the way of pneumonia causing bacteria. Learn more about green tea here.
- Don’t touch your face. A 2013 study in the Journal of Occupational Health found that those who touch their eyes, nose and face are 41% more likely to come down with upper respiratory infections.
- Take vitamin D daily. Levels run low in the winter months so it’s important to take it often to fight off colds and upper respiratory infections. Talk to your doctor about how much is right for you.
- Get the flu shot. Studies have shown that even if you get sick after getting vaccinated, your symptoms will be reduced.
- Exercise before getting the flu shot. The inflammation from 30-minutes of exercise boosts your body’s immune response to the vaccine. Check out the best 30-minute workouts here.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol because it can trigger proteins that increase inflammation and the chances of getting sick.
- Meditate to stay focused and calm while lowering your stress level. More stress increases your vulnerability for infection. Learn how to meditate here.
- Be aware of the humidity level in the air that surrounds you by using a humidifier throughout the colder months. Also consider a saline spray for your nose because when your nasal passages are dry you become more susceptible to germs.
- Do yoga. Twisting and stretching has been shown to boost the immune system to help fight off colds and flu. Check out the best yoga DVD’s here.
- Chew gum containing the ingredient xylitol; a sweetener that has the capability of preventing step, ear and sinus infections.
- Exercise moderately to lower the risk of getting sick by nearly 30%. Working out increases the immune system and can relieve nasal issues. Check out the best workouts that offer moderate exercise here.
- Eating fish after exercising produces infection-fighting cells so add that omega-3 to your plate especially on your workout days.
- Humming has been shown to fight germs by increasing the nitric oxide in the nose. Hold one nostril closed, take a deep breath and exhale out the opposite nostril as you hum. Do this five times per side and improve congestion.
- Get more sleep. Lack of sleep cannot only lower your immune system, it can increase inflammation and challenge your body to fight off germs in comes in contact with.
- Eat ginger more often by grating it into your tea or eating some alongside your sushi. It can stop the spread of a virus that can lead to pneumonia and bronchitis.
- Drink hot fluids such as tea often, or even hot water, to reduce any symptoms you might be experiencing before they get worse. Heat helps much more than warm.
- Adding honey to that hot tea or water has been proven to directly reduce the bacteria causing strep or pneumonia by as much as 80%.
- Rosemary doesn’t only taste good sprinkled on your roasted potatoes; it’s an antiviral that protects your body from respiratory viruses, so eat it often.
Recommended by the author:
Best yoga workouts that fit any busy schedule
7 of the best workout DVD’s that work
10 very reasons why you should be drinking green tea