5 Tips For Fighting the Flu
Ugh the dreaded flu - this time of year can be tough. It seems like co-workers start sneezing, kids come home with the latest crud going around, and we may feel as if coming down with the flu is inevitable. However, picking up this year’s bug doesn’t have to be part of your winter routine. Here are 5 easy tips to keep your immune system running at its optimum level during peak flu season:
1. Move More
Exercise can support a healthy immune system that can ward off viruses. Walking, yoga, and swimming are all great low-impact ways to move more during the winter. Take care not to exceed your body’s limits, which could cause physical and psychological stress and have the opposite effect on your immunity.
2. Sweet Sleep
Get enough sleep to keep your body’s defenses strong and be mindful of how much sleep you are getting each night to stay rested. Sleep requirements vary by age - adults need 7-8 hours of sleep, teens about 9 hours, and growing children need 10-12 hours per night. Getting adequate sleep is vital to your immune system as it allows your body to rest and recover fully.
3. Breathe Deep
Limit stress to maintain a healthy immune system with a relaxation technique that’s simple, free, and effective - breathing. The act of consciously breathing relaxes the mind and lowers stress hormones that weaken the immune system.
4. Stay Hydrated
Increase your water intake to help you stay healthy and lessen your chance of coming down with the flu. Drinking extra fluids prevents dehydration caused by fever, loosens mucus, and keeps your throat moist. Warm liquids are best and scientific studies show that inhaling steam early in the course of a cold or flu may reduce the spread of viruses in your upper respiratory tract.
5. Be Prepared
If you do come down with the flu, make sure you have remedies on hand to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. My favorites include elderberry extract, ionic zinc, fresh ginger, and Chinese herbal remedies. Ask your acupuncturist to recommend herbs and remedies that are customized for you!