What am I doing today? Well, I woke up at 6am to a child puking everywhere so you can imagine how my day has been. A stomach bug has hit our house hard, despite my extreme nagging and obsessive use of hand sanitizer. This Mombie needs a coffee and an extra set of hands to deal with this. We barely just got over the flu and now this?!
With cold weather comes the annual influenza season. While colds and flu can strike anytime, the winter is the peak season. There are a number of reasons for this. Cold weather usually means more time spent indoors in closer proximity to others. Cold, dry air can also make respiratory more vulnerable to illness. Rather than spend your winter miserable, here are tips for protecting you and your loved ones so you don’t end up feeling like a Mombie!
Boost Your Immune System
This may seem obvious but taking vitamins and supplements to boost your immune system should be the first step to reduce your odds of catching the flu. Supplements won’t work for everyone but for most people, this is an excellent way to stay healthy during the winter months. A few of my favorites that I recommend to friends is elderberry syrup, Vitamin C, echinacea, zinc, probiotics, and lots of Vitamin D.
Immune boosting supplements can be purchased from a variety of sources so be sure to do your own research before making a purchase. I personally use Zarbees Elderberry, Airborne, Cold-EEZE®, and Hyperbiotics Probiotics. Boosting the immune system and giving it everything it needs to fight off illness can be particularly important for children, people who are older and for people who have a compromised immune system. If in doubt, check with your doctor, chiropractor or other health care professional.
Avoid Overly Dry Air
Heating systems typically dry out the air. While you are running your furnace or fireplace to keep your home and/or office warm and comfortable, you are creating drier air. Overly dry air can dry out respirator passages which can make it easier for the flu virus to pass into your body and spread. Installing a humidifier can help with this problem while making indoor spaces more comfortable for you and your family.
While the theory that going out in cold weather or getting rained on will cause you to become sick isn’t true, it can weaken your body’s immune system. This, in turn, can make you more vulnerable to a cold or flu. If the room is uncomfortably cool, your body will spend more energy trying to keep warm. This is energy your body could be spending on fighting a cold or flu.
To avoid spending excess energy keeping warm, you may need to improve the heat distribution inside your home or office. You might have enough heat but still end up with hot and cold areas due to uneven air circulation. Fortunately, the solution can be fairly simple. While we tend to think of ceiling fans as useful in summer, they can be important in the winter, as well. In warm weather, ceiling fans are set to move air around to provide cooling. In cold weather, the ceiling fan direction can be reversed (see ceiling fans at creoven). Warmer air naturally rises so reversing the ceiling fan rotation can move the warmer air back down so that it can help people comfortable without having to turn up the heat. Portable fans can even be used to move air around the room to avoid hot and cold spots.