Even in years without a global pandemic, the untimely coincidence of the holiday season and flu season can spoil the fun and festivities you wait all year for. It’s surely happened to you before; now more than ever, don’t let it happen again. After a year like 2020, you want to finish out strong, and that means ending the year healthy. Consider these ways to avoid getting sick around the holidays so that you can ring in a much-needed new year feeling your best.
While we’re still waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, we can’t take our eyes off influenza, which is just as present as ever. It has never been more important than now to get your flu shot. While the multiple flu strains in the wild mean that no shot is 100-percent effective, you can drastically reduce your chances of getting the flu this December with one simple vaccine.
Boost Your Immune System
One of the best ways you can stave off an inopportunely timed illness is to give your immune system a boost. Diet and exercise are the best ways to keep your immune system humming. Supplements like vitamin C and zinc can be useful, but a healthy and balanced diet will feature the vitamins and minerals you need without bringing supplements into the mix. It’s not as easy as it should be to get your exercise in this winter, with public facility access being limited and the weather likely to be as unpleasant as any December, but you can still pursue home workout plans to burn those calories and keep your immune system from going idle.
Keep Stress Low
As helpful as diet and exercise are in staying healthy this winter, reducing stress is important, too. High levels of stress release cortisol, the “fight-or-flight” hormone. While this chemical has its time and place, too much cortisol can suppress your immune system, leaving you susceptible to viruses and bacteria that you’d otherwise be able to fight off. Stay calm, manage your workloads, and try to take time to decompress each day. Your immune system will thank you.
Switch To Green Tea
Every early morning needs a pick-me-up. But consider subbing out your mug of black coffee for a cup of green tea. Tea, like coffee, contains caffeine, but also features a compound called EGCG that helps your body fight off viruses. This could be the difference-maker between whether or not you suffer through a stuffy nose this Christmas. The antioxidants and lower caffeine of tea may help you feel better throughout the day, too.
Keep the House Clean
Late fall and winter along the Great Lakes means lots of staying indoors, and that means breathing lots of recirculated air. Keep your allergies in check and stave off the sniffles by maintaining good upkeep of your home, particularly your heating system, which can distribute harmful allergens throughout the ducts if left uncleaned. Ensuring a clean furnace can be one of the most effective ways to avoid getting sick around the holidays.
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