We all know that Winter is the peak time for colds and sickness. But when the temperatures start to warm up, no one wants to be under the weather! Just laying on the couch with a fever and admiring the beautiful spring sunshine zaps your energy. Changing weather means a change in our immune system, causing us to be more vulnerable to sickness or the flu. Avoid being stuck in bed with these 8 tips to avoid getting sick this Spring!
Tip #1: Get into your music
Get excited about your tunes, because listening to music (and jamming out to it) can boost your immune system. Research studies have shown that actively participating in music (including singing and dancing along) increases your production of immunoglobulin A, which is a protein that fights off unwanted bacteria and viruses. Now you have an excuse to download new music, and you have permission to roll down the windows and unabashedly sing along.
Tip #2: Work up a sweat
Need another encouraging reason to get back into your workout routine? Scientists explain that people who are more active and fit are less likely to get sick. And if they do get sick, their symptoms are often more mild. But here’s a few things to keep in mind regarding fitness and your immune system:
- Heavy, intense exercise for extended lengths of time (such as training seasons for professional athletes) can cause more upper respiratory tract infections.
- Moderate intensity exercises three to five times per week, such as twenty minutes of high intensity interval training, are beneficial (immuno-enhancing).
- Post workout, your body naturally increases your flu-fighting cells which will gradually strengthen your immune system over time.
Tip #3: Drink more water
I’m sure you’ve heard this tip over and over again. That’s because water is so essential for healthy body functioning and fighting off colds! In your body, water flushes out toxins and transports nutrients. Certain liquids, such as tea with antioxidants or bone broth, also give your body an extra boost. Pro tip: if you feel a cold coming on, drink an extra glass of orange juice. The vitamin C will lessen the symptoms and give your body an extra dose of energy.
Don’t know how much water to drink? Take your body weight (in pounds). Divide it by 2. That’s how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Read more here about how much water you should be drinking.
Tip #4: Eat a balanced diet
Similar to the water, you’ve been told your entire life to eat more fruits and veggies. We also know that life throws us curve balls so sometimes it’s tough to stick to a balanced diet. Try this expert tip: Don’t avoid the birthday parties (sweets), happy hour meetings (alcohol), or holiday feasts (rich roods). Instead, try to eat immune-boosting foods before or after the special event. This includes almonds, oranges, lemons, salmon, yogurt, whole grains, plus plenty of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, toss in some anti inflammatory spices such as turmeric, garlic, ginger and oregano.
Tip #5: Sleep like a beauty queen
Classic advice goes beyond staying hydrated and eating well; it also includes the staple wisdom of getting your beauty sleep. Your time in dreamland restores your body, gives your muscles and brain time to rest, plus increases your immune system. The more sleep you get, the more likely your body will be strong enough to fight off those springtime colds.
Tip #6: Do more than just sleep in your bed
Speaking of sleep, you should do more than just sleep between your sheets. Remember how music boosts your body’s production of immunoglobulin A? Sex does the same thing. Getting down and dirty a few times each week is advised. Worried about swapping saliva? Yeah, you’ll share more germs, but over time that will strengthen your immune system to build up more antibodies. Consider that to be a natural version of the flu shot.
Tip #7: Reduce your stress levels
When life gets stressful (your boss is relentless, your best friend is getting married, your sister is having a baby, you’re in the middle of a home remodel, etc.), you tend to catch a cold. That’s life telling you to slow down! Spring can be a busy season for your family, but limit your stress to keep your body strong. Get outside to enjoy the weather; take a family walk or bike ride; go on a picnic; plan to meet up with your friends; or take advantage of tip #6.
Tip #8: Wash your hands frequently
You probably remind your kids to wash their hands multiple times per day. Be sure that you’re taking your own advice! Clean hands is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight Spring colds. Just a friendly reminder to use a generous amount of soap and to either sing Happy Birthday or the alphabet while your wash to ensure you’re scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
Happy Healthy Spring!
Now that you’ve taken the appropriate precautions and proactive tips to avoid getting sick, you’re healthy and free to enjoy the lovely Spring!