The winter season likely brings images of hot chocolate and beautiful snow scenes to mind, but it, unfortunately, has the reputation of being synonymous with cold and flu season, too.
This year’s flu season has been especially dangerous, so even if you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t fallen victim, you’re not entirely out of the woods just yet.
Flu season is unfortunately still in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you have to contract this illness. Here’s a look at five simple tips you can follow daily to help power through each day with vigor.
1. Stay in Motion
Winter gives us the perfect excuse to sit near the fireplace and load up on sweets and sugary snacks. It’s not uncommon to go a few days without even catching a glimpse of the outside world while snuggled in the warmth of your bed. But while you may be tempted to engage in full leisure activity, think again before you start skipping workouts entirely.
Engaging in daily exercise is a great way to ward off winter illnesses while staying fit and active in the process. Research studies show active individuals cut their odds of contracting colds and viruses in half — and those who did get sick suffered less severe symptoms, too. The secret lies in the added boost your immune system experiences when you get up and go more often.
2. Keep Hand Sanitizer with You — Even While on the Go
Did you know the average person comes in contact with roughly 30 different objects every half hour? That’s more than 1,440 various surfaces every day! When it comes to sanitizing the objects you come in contact with daily, nothing gets the job done quite like a quick burst of hand sanitizer.
Unlike soap, which requires a nearby sink or source of water, you can easily carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you wherever you go — no added accessories or products needed.
Merely squirt enough gel onto your hands to clean your palms entirely, and rub the hand sanitizer over your hands for roughly 10 to 15 seconds.
3. Visit Your Doctor for the Annual Flu Shot
Sometimes, you can do absolutely everything right and still find yourself suffering from a fever, the sniffles or other early warning signs you may have contracted the flu.
Getting your annual flu shot is an enhanced way to safeguard yourself against contracting this dreaded winter illness. While the flu shot doesn’t provide a complete guarantee against contraction, it does offer an up to 42 percent lowered risk of coming down with the flu this year.
It’s never too late to get your vaccination, either. When it comes to protection, it’s always better late than never — especially when a simple shot is all it takes to prevent you from lying sick in bed for weeks.
4. Take a Daily Vitamin Supplement
While it’s easy to get your daily intake of vegetables and fruit when they’re in peak growing season throughout the summer, it’s equally as easy to fall into the habit of resorting to junk food during the colder winter season.
Chances are, you may not be getting enough vitamins this winter to help boost your immune system in the fight against unwanted illnesses and viruses. If you need some added help, simply add a multivitamin or immune-boosting supplement to your daily diet instead.
Take your multivitamin or supplement every day with a meal and a full glass of water. The added fats from your dishes will help you absorb the nutrients better, and the cup of water will ensure all vitamins are fully dissolved, too.
5. Quench Your Thirst
Braving the cold winter weather is the perfect excuse for sipping on some hot chocolate loaded with marshmallows and other sugary additions. But while you may be tempted to drink just your favorite winter beverages this season, make sure you incorporate water into your daily routine, too.
Dehydration and a lack of water can leave your body vulnerable to contracting the annual cold or flu. Not only does drinking plenty of water help keep you quenched, it’s also an excellent way to combat a sore throat by flushing toxins from infections out of your body.
As a rule of thumb, aim to drink several glasses of water each day — one with every meal. The added fluids will keep you hydrated, and the healing powers of water may just hold the secret to fighting through the nasty flu season, too.
Colder weather can signal the excitement of snow days, but unfortunately brings a heightened risk of cold and flu contraction with it, too. Keep yourself safe and avoid this year’s unwanted illnesses by staying protected, active and healthy — even throughout the remainder of this winter.