Staying Healthy During Flu Season
It’s that time of the year… The dreaded flu and cold season. Staying Healthy During Flu Season can be a challenge. It’s cold outside so you spend more time inside surrounded by more people. If you live in a city you may take the subway more often due to inclement weather. Maybe you work with children or in the public exposing you to more illness. Regardless of your lifestyle, when exposed to virus or bacteria, it’s inevitable, sometimes you’re just going to get sick, but there are actions one can take to keep your immune system strong so that when you are exposed your body can fight it off. Even if you do get sick, maybe it won’t be as harsh and you won’t be out for as long. Here are some tips to Staying Healthy During Flu Season.
Wash your hands! Obviously you wash your hands when you go to the bathroom, but I propose you wash your hands right when you get to work, before leaving work and periodically throughout the day for no reason except to keep them fresh and clean. Especially if you work with the public, handling money, or food. Wash them when you arrive to the studio or gym and certainly wash them right after your class or work out, especially if you borrow a mat. Having volunteered at 6 different yoga studios…well…just wash your hands!
Play outside! Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to hibernate inside. In fact, one of the main reason the flu runs rampant during the winter is the fact that we spend more time indoors, amping up our exposure. Check out our other post http://drishtiyogateachertraining.com/tips-for-gearing-up-for-winter-runs/ for tips on how to dress for outdoor winter activity.
Take your Vitamins! Maybe you don’t like supplements and eat and drink every single vitamin your body needs. Good on ya! Personally I know I fall short in this department. When I hiked the Appalachian Trail for 6 months I got in the habit of taking vitamins and never quit. During times of more exposure, lack of sleep, and just overall depleting my body and feeling run down I especially take Vitamin C, D, a good multi-vitamin and if I do feel the cold or flu coming on I definitely take a zinc tablet twice a day for preventive maintenance. I also take a vegetarian source of Omega 3/6 and turmeric to reduce inflammation. Power Lysine has worked wonders for me these past few years, but remember we’re not doctors here at Drishti Yoga. Consult your doctor or naturopath and do what works best for you.
Stay Hydrated! I know, I know…duh right? But seriously, I myself don’t drink as much water in the winter when it’s colder. I just don’t crave it. I have to make a special effort. One thing I found that works well for me is to actually drink a cup of veggie broth or miso soup. For one, the liquid is hot and delicious, but also if you are starting to get sick, the sodium in the broth helps to maintain salts in your body. Often the lack of hydration and salts ultimately leads to illness. It makes a great snack too and helps stave of any hunger pangs until you can get a real meal. Other sources of liquid are tea, fresh home squeezed juices and smoothies, warm lemon water, of course regular water, and coffee…yes even coffee! It’s not a diuretic like some people claim. You can argue this one if you want, but my husband has been a leading coffee scientist in the industry for 15 years. Trust me, if you were dying of thirst, meaning truly dying from lack of hydration, you would be better off drinking a cup of coffee. It’s mostly water, 98.7% in fact. It even makes our foods that fight dementia list!
Think positive! Repeat healthy, positive mantras to yourself or even out loud. You may think this is silly, but I mean it. Instead of saying “I will not get sick” repeat the words “I am healthy and well.” Some of my other favorites are “I am strong and beautiful” (when feeling fat and ugly) “My heart and lungs are healthy” (when tired on a run). Drishti Alumni know the ultimate “I am a BAMF!”
I am not saying doing all these things will prevent illness. You may end up getting sick after all, but I do believe there are actions we can take to staying healthy during flu season and I am all about preventive maintenance as opposed to damage control.
One of my friends recently told me that the flu is simply nature’s way of ridding our body of toxins. I would have to research that a little more, but if you know anything about this please comment below.