Flu Season 2020
Simple lifestyle changes to be proactive with your health.
Anyone is susceptible to catching the flu – especially during the flu season. As the rates of influenza continue to rise throughout February 2020, let’s go over some simple lifestyle changes that can impede the flu’s ability to derail your day-to-day life.
This blog has been created to show the importance of being proactive with your health instead of being reactive. You do not have to wait until you already have the flu to take action against it. There are steps that can be made to improve your immune system’s ability to fight off viruses before they are able to take hold. Here are 5 proactive steps to improve your immune system’s ability to function in flu season 2020.
1. Follow Good Hand Hygiene Practices
Germs can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours; therefore, it is important to wash your hands often and properly.
- Ensure all jewellery has been removed and clothing is out of the way.
- Apply warm water with soap and rub hands together to create a lather.
- Completely wash both hands for 30 – 60 seconds.
- Rinse the soap off your hands under warm water.
- Use disposable paper towel to dry hands and turn off faucet.
2. Eat Fruits, Veggies and Protein
With fruits and veggies, we are looking for the crucial vitamins and minerals that aid in immune function. Food high in Vitamin C (oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, berries, leafy greens, etc.) are vital for building strong immune health. Leafy greens in particular (kale, spinach, cabbage, etc.) have antibacterial properties, Vitamin C and Iron; making it an excellent immune strengthener.
Protein aids in the natural production of antibodies to fight viral infections (like the influenza virus) making protein an important part of your diet throughout the flu season. Additionally, protein helps the body fight the feelings of fatigue and drowsiness giving you the extra boost to get through the day.
3. Use Supplementation
There are numerous supplementation options to help boost your immune health. The following list will encompass the basics of what is available to you.
- Probiotics are friendly bacteria that improve gut and immune health by increasing the number of definite white blood cells.
- Multivitamins allow you to get a variety of the vitamins important to strong immune function. This includes Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E and much more.
- Zinc has the ability to strengthen white blood cells in their fight against illness and infection.
4. Get Adequate Sleep
There isn’t any substantiated research on HOW sleep is able to boost your immune system; but there is no denying that obtaining the recommended hours of sleep every night is very important to maintaining good health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of inflammation and stress (which can lend itself to the heightened susceptibility to influenza) so make sure you are getting your 7-9 hours a night.
5. Manage Stressors
Stress and how you manage it can lead to the flu and prolonged exposure to heightened levels of stress only furthers your risk. Why? Stress links directly with your ability to sleep, lead a healthy lifestyle and keep healthy hormone levels. Stressors can be managed through the following practices.
- Regular meditation and/or yoga.
- Working out and regular physical activity.
- Following a proper diet and nutrition.
- Engaging in social activities.
- Seeking help from a counsellor.