Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

7 Tips to Prevent a Cold This Winter

Do you get a cold every winter? Sinus infections a regular occurrence? Are you susceptible to the flu bug? Being sick is no fun and besides that it makes us grouchy and hard to get along with. Don't let that be you this winter. There are several natural preventive ways to keep your immune system strong and prevent you from getting sick this winter and today I'm sharing some of my favorite ones with you. Do write and share your favorite healthy tips too.

1. Get more sleep. 
    With the holidays and end of year work duties it's easy to get run down and overly exhausted. Enough sleep is vital for restoring our bodily systems and keeping our immune system in fighting order.  Don't resist the urge to catch a cat nap unless of course, you're at work. Naps are good for the heart and the brain.

"If you're tired when you wake up in the morning, you're not getting enough sleep, or maybe not enough quality sleep. Either way, your immunity is probably compromised. Poor sleep is associated with lower immune system function and reduced numbers of killer cells that fight germs. Killer cells are also the part of the immune system that combats cells that divide too rapidly, as they do in cancer. Lower their numbers and you may be at greater risk for illness." (Prevention, Mazo, Dec.2, 2011)

2. Drink plenty of water
     Water oxygenates the blood and flushes out toxins. It also helps the production of lymph which help circulate those infection-fighting white blood cells as well as nutrients. For more benefits of water on the immune system, check out this article. 

3. Use a neti pot daily. 
     In case you don't know what a neti pot is, check one out here . I have seen them at Walmart and Walgreen's as well as natural health food stores. Don't overpay. This is a great price. Anyway, a neti pot is used to cleanse the sinuses and, as we all know, the sinuses can get congested very easily, especially in the winter. The cilia in the nasal passages catch all sorts of bacteria to protect the entry to the inner parts of the sinuses so it is important to rinse the nasal passages daily to prevent buildup and decongest the sinus passages. I like to use mine in the mornings as I am usually stuffy when I wake up. It is such a great feeling to breath clear.

4. Eat your vitamin C.
    I prefer to eat as many of my vitamins as I can. Oranges, grapefruit, and clementines contain large amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin C as do brightly colored peppers. If you don't like citrus, grab yourself a bottle of time-released vitamin C capsules that will dissolve over time and nourish your immune system. Vitamin C is also great for the skin, ladies.

5. Wash your hands often and keep them off your face and eyes. 
    At the office, after the gym, the grocery store, whereever you have exposure to external stuff and people. I carry a small bottle of those liquid sanitizer gels in my purse, although I know some people don't care for them. It's also a good idea to keep your hands off your face and out of your eyes. Germs and bacteria spread through touch so it's easy to infect oneself.

6. Disinfect the house regularly.
     Okay, so I'm a Lysol gal, I admit it. I know it's probably loaded with chemicals but hey, it does the job and it beats getting sick. The germs are getting stronger and more resistant these days and I don't know any natural products that do as good a job at killing those pesky microbes. Spray the doorknobs, the fridge doors, the light switches as these all get touched often.

7. Watch the sugars.
    You might not know that sugar lowers the immune system. Here's a good explanation of how sugar competes with vitamin C for white blood cell absorption. So all those cookies, candy and sweets that abound during the holidays besides putting weight on, also make us more susceptible to catchy a nasty winter cold or flu bug. Enjoy the season, but be sure to increase your vitamin C along with your sugar intake.

Nobody enjoys being sick, and no one else enjoys being around someone who is sick. So as as public service message, if you are sick and have a cough or cold, stay home. You're not doing anyone any favors by toughing it out and spreading your germs around.

When I was working in an office, every year for several years my next door cube mate would come into the office coughing and hacking and spreading germs all over the place. Inevitably, I would catch her cold. I tried bringing in a can of Lysol and spraying it to get her to take the hint. Finally, I said to her one day "You know, we can work from home when we're sick instead of coming into the office and spreading the germs,". She looked at me like "Wow, now there's an idea I hadn't thought of."

Okay, friends, these are my 7 tips for staying healthy this winter. If you do get sick, don't beat yourself up about it. Take plenty of liquids, hot tea, and give your body the rest it deserves and needs. Take good care of your body and it will take good care of you.

If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, stay tuned for my bi-weekly posts by entering your email address in the box provided. I'll send you out a copy of my free e-guide, "7 Steps to Finding Your Spiritual Path". 

In the meantime, stay well and keep looking up!