6 Tips For Staying Healthy During Flu SeasonPublished Date:
There’s lots of reasons to love fall and winter - from the changing colour of the leaves to the buildup to Thanksgiving and Christmas, it often feels like a magical time. The one thing that winter and fall doesn’t have going for it? Flu season.
Colder temperatures, dry air and low humidity promotes transmission of colds and the flu virus. As we spend more time inside during these months, we are more likely to be exposed to these illnesses. And there’s nothing worse than being stuck at home with the flu!
If you want to keep healthy during flu season and want to avoid getting sick, it’s super important to take proper care of your body and your immune system.
Luckily, we’ve got 6 flu season tips to help get you through these chilly winter months. Our simple and effective tips for flu season cover a wide range of ways that you can keep your body feeling it’s best and avoid sickness.
From getting enough sleep, to keeping yourself hydrated with nutritious cold-pressed juices, each of our flu season tips will help navigate you successfully through this tricky season. So go ahead and arm yourself with our 6 straightforward tips for flu prevention this fall and winter!
TIP NO.1 - Get your daily vitamin D dose
During winter, getting yourself outside might seem like the last thing you want to do. But getting yourself out in the sun will help you get that absolutely crucial vitamin D.
It’s super important to get this vitamin during the winter months, because it is strongly linked to supporting a healthy immune system. Research has found that getting vitamin D does have a preventive effect on influenza, making it essential during the winter months!
Even if it’s cold, try and get yourself in the sun as much as possible. Whether you choose to go for a short walk, run or bike ride to get yourself out - even sitting outside for a coffee with a friend can get you your vitamin D dose.
You could even try a new outdoor activity like starting a winter garden, camping or having an outdoor winter picnic with friends and family. Wrap up warm and make the most of sunny fall and winter days!
There are also certain foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, tuna and dairy or plant milks fortified with vitamin D. So keep in mind that a healthy, balanced diet will also help get enough of your daily vitamin D dose.
TIP NO.2 - Make sure you get your 5 a day
One of the most important flu season tips is to ensure you’re getting your 5 a day. This is an easy way to strengthen your immune system naturally.
If you tend to find it difficult to incorporate fresh fruit and veg into your diet, try simple things like always having a piece of fruit in your bag, or putting in some kale or spinach to your favourite pasta dishes.
Another great way to ensure you’re getting enough fruit and veg is to drink some Little West cold-pressed juices. These little bottles are packed with fresh, locally-sourced produce that are bursting with flu-fighting nutrients, keeping illness at bay.
Here’s a short list of some of the best fruit and veg you can eat to beat the flu!
- Citrus Fruits - Fruits like oranges and lemons are packed with vitamin C, which is essential for supporting our immune systems. Because our body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin C by itself, make sure you’re getting enough through your diet.
- Broccoli - Packed with nutrients, broccoli is an absolute staple during flu season! Have it raw in a salad or steam it to keep in its nutrients during the cooking process.
- Red Bell Peppers - Looking for even more vitamin C goodness? Then get yourself some red bell peppers. They have three times the amount of vitamin C than oranges!
- Cruciferous Vegetables - Research has shown that veggies like kale, arugula and cabbage are great for keeping your immune system working well by boosting necessary proteins in your body!
TIP NO.3 - Wash your hands frequently
Now this might seem like one of our more obvious tips for flu prevention, but when you’re super busy during the day, it can be hard to remember to frequently wash your hands. It’s even more important during flu season, as coming into contact with a lot of people can increase the chance of being exposed to the virus.
Washing your hands frequently (not just after you use the bathroom!) can kill the virus and keep your body safe from getting sick. Use soap and warm water to wash your hands properly for 20 seconds before eating, drinking and touching your face.
To ensure you’re always able to keep your hands clean, why not buy a small bottle of hand sanitizer? That way, you’ll always have a way to wash your hands if you’re not near a bathroom. It wouldn’t hurt to get a little bottle of hand cream too. The cold, wintery air mixed with frequent sanitizing can be pretty harsh on our skin!
TIP NO.4 - Get more sleep, and better quality sleep
Getting enough good quality sleep is important for our health generally, but it is especially important during flu season. While getting your recommended 8 hours of sleep might not be your priority, lack of good sleep could make you more vulnerable to illness, and also may slow recovery from illness!
This may be because during sleep, our body releases something called cytokines. These are proteins that help regulate our immune systems, so sleep deprivation may decrease the production of enough cytokines.
Getting enough sleep is a flu season tip backed by science! A study showed that adults who got a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night showed stronger resistance to illness. Participants who slept 7 hours or less showed much greater susceptibility to the virus.
It’s not just important to get enough sleep, but also to get good quality sleep. A few ways to ensure you’re getting good quality sleep is to limit screen time before bed, exercise during the day and avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hours before you go to bed.
TIP NO. 5 - Reduce your stress levels via exercise
Another critical flu season tip is to try to reduce your stress levels by doing more exercise. Cortisol is a hormone our bodies release to fight disease and inflammation, but it is also what is released when we encounter high levels of stress. When we are chronically stressed, our bodies over-produce cortisol and lessen its efficiency.
Research has shown that there is likely to be a link between stress and overall health. It demonstrates that people with chronic stress have an increased risk of illnesses like viruses and common cold.
To combat stress levels, try exercising regularly. Exercise has been linked to many positive health benefits, such as reducing stress, stimulating the circulation of disease-fighting white blood cells, and combating inflammation.
Don’t worry - we aren’t suggesting that you need to be an olympic athlete! Even walking three times a week can keep your body fit, healthy and better protected from illness. If you’re looking for exercise that will really help to reduce your stress levels, try yoga or swimming. You could even try something new like pilates, team sports or dance classes to keep it fun!
TIP NO.6 - Stay hydrated
The last (but certainly not least) of our tips for flu prevention is to stay hydrated. During the fall and winter months, it’s easier to forget to hydrate ourselves as we might not be getting the same signals from our body that we get during summer, like sweating or feeling hot.
Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to drink lots of water during the flu season, even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Drinking a lot of water can aid the absorption of nutrients into the body, which, as we’ve already explored, is essential for staying healthy during the winter months.
Another flu season tip that will help you to stay hydrated is to drink some Little West cold-pressed juices Not only will these nutritious juices help you to stay hydrated, they’ll also feed your body with essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy during the flu season.
And there’s so many delicious, fresh, cold-pressed juices to try! For a burst of vitamin C, try our Sunrise juice. For a cold-busting fix, get yourself the Ginger Snap Cold-Pressed Juice.
Let’s wrap up…
Taking care of your body and immune system should be a priority every day, but even more of a priority during the flu season! To ensure you’re well-protected this winter, follow our super effective tips for flu prevention. Not only will our flu season tips help with keeping sickness at bay, but they’ll make you generally feel healthier and more energized this winter. Bring on the flu season!