Winter is a time for hunkering down, staying inside, and communing with friends and family. Unfortunately, the combination of indoor activity and interpersonal gatherings makes a compelling breeding ground for cold viruses and influenza.
Getting sick any time of the year is unideal, but getting ill during the winter can be doubly miserable, as it means you may miss out on holiday fun. In this post, let’s explore a few simple steps to deter seasonal sicknesses.
Get Serious about Hygiene
For most medical experts, cold and flu prevention begins with hygiene. Cold and flu particles tend to linger on surfaces, transporting themselves into our bodies via our hands or common household items. Therefore, experts recommend observing a regular handwashing regimen, as well as routinely sanitizing commonly touched surfaces like cell phones, door handles, dials and knobs.
Incorporate Superfoods into Your Diet
Certain superfoods have been shown in studies to potentially boost your immune system. Take Chaga mushrooms, for example. They aren’t your average mushrooms: chaga mushrooms are a superfood revered in Eastern medicine for centuries, and studies show that they may support your immune system by promoting white blood cell production (the cells responsible for warding off illness).
Don’t Let the Holiday Stress Get to You
Stress isn’t just a mental affliction; it can have a negative impact on your physical wellbeing as well. Studies show that stress can weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to catching a common cold and flu. It’s no coincidence that the holidays – widely recognized as a stressful time of year – coincide with cold and flu season.
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To lower your stress, consider turning to another superfood mushroom, reishi mushrooms. Studies show that these “adaptogenic” fungi may help regulate your stress response.
Get Plenty of Rest
The same way stress weakens the immune system, lack of rest similarly affects your body’s ability to fend for itself. If you don’t get proper rest, your body goes into a kind of panic mode, diverting its stores of energy to keep your body alert instead of battling foreign invaders.
If you have trouble sleeping, tackle the problem this winter. Download a sleep app that tracks your circadian cycle and optimizes your sleep schedule. Alternatively, talk to your doctor about therapeutic interventions to help you get the rest you need.
Exercise is a powerful tool in your overall cold-and-flu-fighting arsenal, but indoor activity can expose you to inordinate germs. Whenever you have several people breathing heavily in an enclosed space, you are bound to meet a few cold and flu germs.
Instead, consider exercising outdoors or at home this winter. Dress warmly and go for brisk runs around the block, or try an outdoor winter fitness class. Not only does physical activity support your immune system, but studies show that fresh air can also be beneficial.
Don’t lose another week to illness this winter.
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Avoid the bedridden blues by following these few straightforward, immune-supporting tips.