That dreaded tickle in your throat. The annoying sniffles. The constant fatigue. Ugh, being sick sucks. And while having an excuse to stay home in your pj’s sounds nice, it’s not actually the case when everything hurts and you can only breathe through one nostril. Here are ten ways to make sure it doesn’t happen to you this winter.
BRING YOUR LUNCH
We’ve all given in to the cookies (and other temptations around the office) and called it a “meal” when we’re too busy or stressed to grab a real lunch. Instead, pack something nutritious that boosts your immunity (think lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains) and then have a cookie as a treat.
Simply put, stress lowers your resistance to infection, making you more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu. Carve out a little time for meditation and relaxation every day to keep an even keel through it all. After all, a mellow mind equals a healthier body.
BOOK A SPA DAY
Experts say that just 20 minutes of massage can decrease your cortisol levels (cortisol = stress hormones that weaken your immunity). Can’t swing an appointment? Get a foam roller and slowly roll it up and down under your back while listening to a podcast.
TAKE A DAILY STROLL
Studies show that taking a brisk walk every day for 30 to 45 minutes increases the number of immune system cells in your body. The fresh air and extra sunlight doesn’t hurt, either.
Cracking up at a joke or a funny cat video counteracts the effects of stress and boosts your immune system. So cue up some sitcoms or grab a pal for that aforementioned daily walk.
DON’T SKIMP ON STRETCHING
Afterward, be sure to stretch. By doing so, you’ll get your lymphatic system moving (which is crucial for pushing any toxins through your body). Plus, it feels darn good.’
DRINK MORE TEA
Preferably one that’s packed with antioxidants (so pretty much any form of green tea) and anti-inflammatory ingredients (like nettle or dandelion).
DRINK MORE WINE, TOO
In moderation, of course. Pour yourself a glass of Merlot with dinner and enjoy every last sip. A study conducted by the University of Auckland shows that doing so can decrease oxidative stress and bolster your immune system. Cheers to that.
STAY AWAY FROM CHILDREN
Unless, of course, you have them. In which case, your best line of defense is to wash their sticky little hands (and yours) frequently and enforce a reasonable bedtime every night.
GET SOME SHUT-EYE
And on that note, if you still somehow find yourself coming down with a cold, hit the hay earlier than you normally would and you should be able to stop the thing in its tracks.