Winter is a time of many things. Of cuddles and coffee. Of crocheted scarves and cute beanies. Or of comforting blankets and calming sleep. But while winter is a season to look forward to, it doesn’t bring with it only good things, as it is also a time of common cold and flu.
Why Do We Get Cold and Flu During Winter?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common colds and flu mostly strike at the start of October and peak during winter and can sometimes last until May.
There are many reasons why people get cold more often during the cold months. One of the reasons, according to Medical News Today, is that the cold and chilly air affects our first line of defense. Everything we inhale gets filtered by the parts of our nose. But during the winter, our nasal passage gets constricted enough for these filters to stop functioning. This is why common cold and flu viruses can easily get inside our body. Another one reason is that during these days, we mostly stay indoors, which are poorly ventilated at times. It can’t be denied that cold-causing viruses flourish in the cold or areas with low humidity. And there’s a lot of them. According to the British Society for Immunology, there are 200 or more viruses that evolve into common cold, and they are all set to attack your body. Another reason is that there’s also the lack of vitamin D, which can affect hormone imbalance and trigger lower immune response—and we know what happens when our immune system isn’t at its best.
But thankfully, this is preventable. It is hard to see how we can fight all 200 viruses, but it is possible and there are things one can do to battle the wrath of common colds and flu freezing-cold winter brings or at least reduce the risk of transmission.
How Do We Prevent Cold and Flu?
Common cold and flu are two dangerous illnesses you do not want to deal with this winter. Here is everything you need to know about preventing the viruses that come with winter from attacking your body.
1. Wash your hands. A lot.
Washing your hands more often than you used to is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe from common cold and flu. “Wash your hands as much as you can stand, and then some more—especially after wrapping up a visit with someone who’s sick,” says Dr. Alan Pocinki through WebMD. This is because germs are transmitted through physical contact, and they enter our body when our hands touch our nose, eyes, mouth, and other vulnerable parts of our body. So this winter season, make soap and water your best friends.
2. Keep hydrated.
Drink more water. It is time to take the eight-glasses-a-day rule more seriously. According to rehydration expert Dr. Susan Shirreffs, drinking water helps our kidneys flush out the toxins that have been accumulated in our bodies. Generally, consuming more fluids aids your body in flushing out infection.
There’s nothing exercise cannot beat, and that includes common colds and flu. Getting enough exercise will help you control your weight and boost your immune system. Regular, moderate exercise also keeps our circulation going and helps increase the number of natural killer cells in our body, which helps fight illnesses.
4. Go outside more often.
As mentioned, it may sound absurd, but during the winter, it is better to go outdoors as often as you can (that is, if the weather condition allows). Get enough sunlight, if possible. Staying indoors will only make you more susceptible to cold-bringing viruses. Step out. Do something. You can take your whole family with you and go ice skating, or you can simply go take short, peaceful walks outside.
5. Think about whether you should get a flu shot or not.
The jury is out as to whether or not to get a flu shot. Make an educated decision and don’t just follow ad campaigns. For those who are older, the flu can be more harmful and it is often suggested that seniors get their shot to be sure. But to the young, be proactive for any time of year; Boost your immune system and do battle with whatever comes your way!
6. Take your immune boosters.
There are a lot of fruits and vegetables you can eat to help boost your immune system. Elderberry is one. Some laboratory studies indicate that elderberry extract can block flu viruses, although experts claim more studies are needed. Nonetheless, elderberries have always been a popular immune booster, so this winter, take more of them. As they are hard to find, Whole Family Products the trusted natural health supplements shop online has in store an elderberry-based product in the form of the Gummies Gone Wild for you. These are supplements that taste great and feel great, what with the amount of wonders it does to your body. These multivitamin gummies are packed with vitamins and minerals that our body needs. They make for a good way to ensure that our kids get their needed multivitamin requirements every day.
Watermelon is another immune-boosting fruit, as it contains antioxidants called glutathione, which helps fight infection. There’s the spinach too, which has always been considered a superfood because of the nutrients it houses in its leaves. It has folate, which helps in DNA repair; fiber; and vitamin C. Other fruits and vegetables you should get more of this winter include sweet potatoes, broccoli, garlic, ginger, acai berry, and wheat germ.
If you don’t have any of the mentioned at home, worry not, as Whole Family Products has a lot of them in store for you. Our Super Immune Booster and Super PRO Immune Booster (includes the natural Alive PRObiotics supplement ) together contain an extensive list of antioxidants and probiotics to help boost your immune system. They can boost your energy, combat everyday weakness and tiredness, lower risk of infection, and protect cells from damage.
This winter, keeping warm through cuddles isn’t enough to keep you safe. Arm yourself to do battle with great nutritional supplements and habits. Eat your fruits and veggies, get regular exercise, and go out more to help your body fight infections and cold- and flu-causing viruses.