Colder weather is setting in and with the change of seasons you might also notice more people coughing, sneezing and calling in sick. It’s a harsh reality that these chilly months are strongly associated with the cold and flu.
If your current plan to stay healthy this winter begins and ends at drinking extra orange juice, you might want to rethink that strategy. From getting outside to eating right, there a lot of surprising things you can do to minimize your chances of coming down with the cold or flu. Doctors and health experts shared their lesser-known tips for staying healthy this winter.
“Even if you are not a regular tea drinker, try sipping on a cup or two daily during cold and flu season,” said Jenna Gagnon, the communications specialist for Aidance Skincare. “Steam from tea stimulates cilia, which are those little hairs inside your nose. Think about cilia as the air filter of nose; keep the cilia healthy and abundant to keep germs from making you sick.”
Soak Up Sun
“We all think of vitamin C as the immune booster, but recent research has shown that vitamin Dgreatly effects the immune system,” said Dr. Scott M. Schreiber, a chiropractic physician, certified nutrition specialist and Delaware’s only board certified rehabilitation specialist. “[Vitamin D] has been shown to elevate that activity of immune cells.”
“Exposing yourself to dirt (and microorganisms) can have a long-lasting impact on your immune system,” Schreiber said. “As a society, we fear getting dirty, when in fact, [studies have shown] it is extremely beneficial.”
“As part of overall good health habits, it’s important to maintain good hydration, regardless of the season,” said Medical Director at Cassena Care Dr. Joel Blass. “In colder weather, the body’s metabolismrevs up and you tend to exhale more moisture than usual—it’s important to replenish those fluids.
“It is always a good idea to dress appropriately for the seasons. Fashion aside, there is a health benefit to keeping warm in cold weather,” Blass said. “Cold weather stresses the immune system, and so, while the term ‘catching a cold’ may be a misnomer…a weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to those viruses.”