Common Sense Strategies to Prevent Winter Illness
Vermonters know that it can be difficult to stay healthy in winter. The cold and snow keep everyone cooped up inside at home, at work and at school, which make them breeding grounds for a host of winter illnesses including colds, viruses and the flu. So, how do you keep yourself and your family healthy and prevent the winter “yuck” from overtaking your home? In this case, an ounce of prevention — and a dose of common sense — is truly worth a pound of cure! Read on for our time tested tip to help prevent winter illness this year.
Healthy Habits to Prevent Winter Illness
Take your mother’s advice and get into the habit of taking care of yourself. Basic care and common sense does a world of good when it comes to preventing winter illnesses.
1) Start by getting a flu shot for everyone in your household
The CDC recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Depending on your age and health needs, a pneumonia shot may also be a good idea. Many times, these are available from an employer, your health care provider or even your pharmacy for low or no cost. Do it for yourself and it will help everyone around you. It can save a life!
2) Create a regular sleep routine
Getting enough sleep helps your body stay healthy. When you don’t get enough rest, your body is more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections that get passed from person to person all winter long.
3) You are what you eat, so eat right!
Make sure you eat a balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Nutrition is important to help your body fight off illness, and it helps you recover if you do catch a cold.
4) Get regular exercise
Exercise and fresh air are all part of living a healthy lifestyle, both of which help to keep feeling your best. Get a dose of each as often as you can. Opportunities for physical activity in the winter range from skating, sledding, and even shoveling if you don’t mind the cold. If Jack Frost nipping at your nose isn’t your idea of a good time, you can get plenty of exercise indoors too. Even low impact activities like yoga has great health benefits year round.
5) Keep It Clean
Wash your hands frequently using soap and warm water before meals, after touching communal surfaces or after coming in contact with other people. In a pinch, use sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer.
Regularly sanitize surfaces you touch. Your phone, remote control, keyboards, tablets, as well as switches, knobs and handles of all kinds should be sanitized often.
Remember your car when it comes to cleanliness. Clean the steering wheel, shift knob and other handles, buttons and screens you touch while driving.
Don’t skimp on cleaning soft surfaces. Keep up with washing bedding, towels, and clothes, including coats. Don’t forget about things you use daily, like your children’s backpacks, grocery bags, and handbags. These are handled daily and often dropped in dirty places, like the floor, and deserve a regular wash to keep germs at bay.
6) Supplements Boost Natural Defenses
If you struggle to eat a balanced diet, boost your nutrition with a multivitamin to cover your bases.
If you are trying to specifically ward off colds and flu, consider:
Dr. Carleton’s Elderberry Tonic — Studies show that elderberry concentrate may shorten the duration of flu symptoms while supporting healthy immune system function. This traditional immune formula made with elderberries, raw honey, ginger root, cinnamon, and clove supports the body’s natural defenses
Oil of Oregano — Around the world, people rely on oil of oregano to quiet coughs, settle upset stomachs, defend against infection and support the body’s natural immune system function.
Aeolus Lung Cleanse – This multi-herb formula of rosemary, skullcap, monk fruit, honeysuckle, chrysanthemum, and white mulberry is designed to support a healthy respiratory system and normal lung function.
Follow these tips to make this winter a healthy one for you and your family!