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5 Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

Updated: May 8, 2023

1. Wash your hands

When we talk about managing cold and flu season, prevention is going to be your best friend, and hand washing is the place to start. I know this one sounds obvious, but I think it is often overlooked and it really is the most important

part of disease prevention.

You should be washing your hand with soap and water multiple times a day, especially in the following situations:

  • Every time you use the washroom

  • Before cooking food or eating food

  • Every time you come home (from work, the gym, shopping)

  • After touching heavily used objects (door knobs, elevator buttons, gas pumps, POS machines at stores)

  • Before you touch your face

In addition to frequent hand washing, doing it properly is essential. That means sudsing your hands up with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or the length of time it takes you to sing the happy birthday song.

I know you might want to glance past this one, but from what I have heard from people and seen in public washrooms - no one is washing for a minimum of 20 seconds. Majority of people are rinsing their hands with water, or rinsing the soap off the second it becomes sudsy.

Don't skip this one!

2. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for the immune system to function properly - just think about how tired you get when you are sick. It's very easy to push this o

ne aside as well, because we are all busy! However, if you don't make time for proper sleep, a cold or flu will force you to rest. So let me ask you - can you prioritize rest on your own or do you need to be forced to?

You should be sleeping between 7 to 9 hours per night. If you are struggling to get these hours of sleep in every night, I highly recommend reaching out to a naturopathic doctor to discuss proper sleep hygiene and interventions to help you get the rest you need!

3. Eat your vitamins

Everyone is always looking for that ONE supplement to help their immune function, that ONE vitamin that will stop them from getting sick - I hate to break it to you, this doesn't exist. All vitamins and minerals are important for proper immune

function, and the best place to get them is in your diet.

You should be aiming for 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and the more the better!

One serving is equivalent to 1/2 cup of a solid fruit/vegetable chopped up, or 1 cup of leafy green vegetables.

If you're looking for a quick and east way to get 3 servings in quickly - grab my free smoothie building handout! If you use the framework I suggest, you'll 2 servings of fruit and 1 serving of veggies.

4. Consider probiotics

Your gut is the first line of defense for any bugs that enter your system, so it needs to be in top shape for fighting off enemies! Having your gut filled with friendly bugs helps to out number the bad bugs that get into your gut.

The best way to fill your gut with healthy bugs is through a well rounded, balanced diet (and getting your fruits and veg in as mentioned above). But if you want to really flood your system with friendly bacteria, consider talking to your healthcare practitioner about a probiotic.

There are different strains of bacteria that can benefit an array of concerns from skin issues to gut health, vaginal health, and immune function so its great to get one personalized to your needs.

5. Get your vitamin D checked

Vitamin D is the most common deficiency I see in my practice, likely because we live up here in Canada far from the equator. It's hard for us to get enough vitamin D without supplementing, however you can over do it with vitamin D because it is fat soluble. Unlike water soluble vitamins, you won't just pee excess vitamin D out if you take too much.

I always recommend testing vitamin D levels so we can tailor the dose to your exact needs based on your blood levels.

If you are interested in getting some one-on-one help while managing the transition from fall to winter, I encourage you to book a free 15-minute Discovery Call so we can chat!

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