We’re in the heart of fall, and winter is just around the corner, and with these seasons comes cold and flu epidemics across the country. With increasingly colder temperatures keeping most people inside as much as possible, germs spread easily and quickly. Sometimes it feels impossible to avoid catching the bugs that are going around, but if you want to avoid having a whole house full of sick people, you need to find ways to stay healthy this winter.
While there are a ton of chemical concoctions out there promising to keep you well and healthy, all of the unknown elements can be a little worrisome. It’s always best to do things as naturally as you can, so here are some tips for boosting your immunity naturally during the winter.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is always being preached about when it comes to being able to stay alert and focused throughout your day. Not often enough is it stressed how important sleep is to your immunity; sleeping is when you body does most of its repairing and fighting off illness, so making sure everyone in the family is getting the appropriate amount of sleep for their age group is of utmost importance.
Of course, saying “get enough sleep” is often easier said than done. With busy schedules, stress, and kids in the house, getting good, restful sleep can be a challenge for the whole family — particularly for you as a parent. If you or anyone in your family struggles to sleep enough or even fall asleep, there are tips you can follow to help you get that restful deep sleep you so desperately need for good immunity and overall health.
Keeping hydrated is another tip that gets talked about a lot in health articles, but doesn’t always give its immunity-boosting properties the attention it deserves. Dehydration is one of the big culprits in the development of a weak immune system; everything in your body requires water to properly function, and constantly depriving it of the water it needs will cause your internal defenses to be down.
Drinking enough of the right fluids is going to not only boost your immunity by keeping the inner-workings of your body well hydrated so they function to their best ability, but it will also aid in flushing out toxins if you do get sick — and, of course, just daily toxins that find their way into your system. Water is the drink that should make up the most of your daily fluid intake, but you can mix it up with teas that boast antioxidant properties and help your immune system, like green tea and chamomile. If you want a super immune-boosting warm drink for these cold winter months, try hot lemon water. A cup of hot lemon water every morning has many incredible benefits, including packing a healthy punch of vitamin C!
Eat Immunity-Boosting Foods
We all strive to eat healthily, and eating clean, whole foods is always going to help your body stay in tip-top shape to do its best in fighting off pathogens. But, there are specific foods that will kick your immunity up a notch. By incorporating immunity-boosting foods into your diet, you can significantly up your chances of avoiding illness this winter. Foods like garlic, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, and almonds are delicious, nutritious, and easy to work into you daily meals and snacks.
Of course, in winter, you want to make as few treks out in the cold and snow as possible, so stock up on foods and ingredients when you can! People often worry about buying too much, then most of it going bad, but as long as you know how to store your foods properly, they will last you a while!
Wash Your Hands
One of the top lines of defense from illness is good hygiene. You are always impressing on your children the importance of washing their hands, and peak-flu season is no time to be lax on the reminders of frequency and best practices. In fact, you and other adults might need a reminder as well; according to research, only 12 percent of people wash their hands before eating. It’s no wonder flus become epidemics when the majority of the population isn’t taking the proper steps to keep germs at bay.
Getting sick is never fun, and we are more at risk to catch something in these cold months due to spending more time inside in close proximity to others. But if you do your best to boost your immune system naturally, you and your family can enjoy good health not only in the cold seasons, but all year long.
Mila Sanchez is a very involved aunt to 4 kiddos and a writer living in beautiful Boise, Idaho. Her ambitions include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram!