Between the busy schedules, time spent indoors and dry air, it’s no wonder this season increases our chances of getting the common cold or flu. With the possible increase of stress due to additional events or things on our ‘to-do’ list the amount of time we have to take care of ourselves mentally and physically decreases.
In other words, what we eat may change (less time to cook and meal prep) and our level of physical activity may decrease. Not to mention, self-care or time for ourselves, might completely go out the door.
In combination with being run down, not eating properly and increased levels of stress, our immune system becomes compromised and is not able to battle those nasty viruses that get in to our body.
So what can you do to prevent getting sick? Here are 5 Tips to get you started!
1) Eat a Healthy Diet
- Following the guidelines from Canada’s Food Guide is a great start! Having a balanced diet will provide you with all of the nutrients you need to keep your immune system working at its best!
- hese are just guidelines! The idea is to have most of the foods you eat in a day come from the Fruits and Vegetables group, then Grain Products, Milk and Milk Products and finally Meat and Alternatives. Do what’s right for your body!
2) Stay Physically Active
- This helps the immune system stay strong and fight off infections.
- Health Canada suggests being active for at least 2.5 hours a week.
o This can broken down into sessions of 10 minutes or more.
- Remember, every step counts! Do what you enjoy!
3) Get Enough Sleep
- The number of hours each person needs to sleep per night may vary on several factors (i.e. age, sleep derivation, etc.).
- Some studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your immune system in a number of ways.
- Guidelines suggest most adults need between 7-8 hours a night.
4) Reduce Stress
- Stress can weaken your immune system, thereby increasing the chance of catching a cold or flu.
- Take time for yourself and do the things you love!
o For example, take a walk, list 3 things you are grateful for, call a friend, meditate, go to the gym with a friend or by yourself or have a bubble bath
5) Wash your Hands!
- Use soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds to kill off those germs!