For those of us living in the Great White North, cold & flu season is inevitable. But, we don’t have to suffer; there are simple things that we can do to help keep our immune systems strong, and hopefully avoid getting sick. Here are our top tips:
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
We all know that sleep is important and that when we don’t get enough, it can seriously affect our health. Our bodies relax, repair and rejuvenate when we sleep. When we don’t get enough ZZZ’s our immune system becomes weak, which makes us more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu. Developing healthy sleep patterns is a form of self-care. Make an effort to get into a regular sleep schedule, to develop a relaxing bedtime routine and to shut off all screens at least an hour before bed. For a restful sleep, keep your bedroom as dark and as quiet as possible and make sure to keep all electronics away. The quality of sleep is also very important for our immune system and overall health.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Easier said than done, right? However, in order to have a truly healthy immune system we need to do our best to reduce and manage our stress. Making time for self-care, and taking time to do things that bring you joy are also very important tools in managing stress. Most people are familiar with emotional and physical stress, but what is less talked about is chemical stress. Examples of chemical stress include: the chemicals in our cosmetics, cleaning products, the air, our food, medications, alcohol, pesticides, herbicides. There are some things that we can control, and others that we have less control over. What’s important is that we do what we can. Haven’t made the switch to natural cosmetics and cleaning products yet? This is a great place to start! Working to reduce these three main types of stress will help to keep your immune system strong and healthy during cold and flu season.
EAT IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS
Once we manage our stress levels and get into a good pattern of sleeping, it’s important to look at what we’re putting into our bodies. A balanced plant-based diet that is low in sugar is one of our best defenses against cold and flu. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also super important. Looking for immunity boosting foods? Here are a few of our favs. Make sure to choose organic whenever possible (think back to reducing our chemical stress). Foods rich in vitamin C are great immune boosters: dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, cauliflower, camu camu powder. Fermented foods boost our immune systems AND keep our guts healthy! We love kombucha, miso, and kimchi. Herbal teas are another good choice. Three teas to try: ginger, reishi mushroom, and echinacea.
KEEP IT MOVING
Make sure you’re getting hot & sweaty on a regular basis. Having a regular sweat sesh helps to rid our bodies of toxins, is great for our cardiovascular health, and leaves us feeling great! Sweating also increases the core temperature in our bodies which aids in fighting off those pesky germs. Finding physical activities that we enjoy is key to staying active and sweaty.
What are some of your favourite tips for staying healthy during cold & flu season? Leave us a comment below.
Stray & Wander Team