As everyone is anticipating the start of spring, in reality we are still knee deep in cold and flu season. You should be mindful of protecting yourself against germs and supporting your body’s immunity system throughout the year, but especially in the months from November through April.
When people are together there is always going to be a higher likelihood of exposure to bacteria and viruses. Whether you’re in the gym, catching a flight or meeting friends for drinks, you’re in close contact with other people.
There are a number of different ways you can minimize your exposure to germs and support your body’s own immunity system. Here are my top seven ways.
- Sleep is extremely important as it refreshes the immune system. The length of sleep is variable per person, but typically the sweet spot is between 6-8 hours. If you’re sleep depleted, you’re much more likely to get a cold.
- Wash up whenever you can, but especially before and after eating. Also, it’s better to use antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds instead of gel hand sanitizers. However, if you don’t have the option for soap and water, you should use what you have available.
- Clean your seat, headrest, armrest and table trays too. When you’re traveling be sure to pack antibacterial towelettes so you can easily wipe down the space you’ll be occupying for the next few hours. If you are flying, turn the overhead air nozzle all the way up and direct slightly away from you to create a laminar airflow away from you.
- Support your immunity by finding just the right balance of exercise – the key is not to overdo it as over-exercise can make you more vulnerable to most viral illnesses.
- Nutrition research points to the use of some dietary supplements to help support overall health and wellness, especially for those who aren’t getting at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily – more than 80 percent of us. For instance, if you have a slight deficiency in vitamin D, you may be more susceptible to contracting influenza according to a study published in the BMJ. Curcumin is another nutrient that supports health, and may have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. If you couple it with black pepper, it can help elevate curcumin levels. Tip: Persona offers vitamin D3 in its foundational multivitamin as well as curcumin coupled with black pepper in its foundational formula.
- Use a sauna, if you have access to one, 2-3 times per week as it can support immunity.
- It’s now socially acceptable to replace the traditional handshake greeting with an elbow bump. And, turn the other way when you see someone coughing.
Don’t underestimate the power of your body’s immunity system. It’s important to take measures to optimize it throughout the year and especially during peak cold and flu season.