Cold temperatures, too much time indoors, missed gym days, and unhealthy comfort food can all contribute to what we dread most in the winter: sick season. While studies don’t actually prove that cold temperatures make us sick, the choices we make because of the cold often lead to a weakened immune system -- and that never-ending runny nose. To make matters worse, common infections like the cold, flu and strep are all incredibly contagious, so it doesn’t help when most of our time is spent indoors and with other people.
Stay healthy through the cold months by taking extra care of your body. Making sure you get enough quality sleep, staying hydrated (on H20), eating nutrient-rich foods (think leafy greens, nuts, mushrooms for Vitamin D), and exercising on a daily basis are all excellent ways to keep your immune system in tiptop shape. Further, when you feel the sickness is coming on, do your best to fight it off. Wash your hands (you should be doing this anyway) and go to bed early alongside a humidifier. Load up on vitamins and soothe your throat with tea. Avoid caffeine and sugar and cook yourself a big bowl of vegetable-based soup. Light exercise and stretching can also be helpful to ward of whatever bug is trying to get in.
And if you do get sick, stay away from others. Don’t convince yourself that you need to go to work (no one else wants you there if you are not feeling well). If you must, ask your boss if you can work from home to save everyone else from catching what you have. Take care of yourself. We live in a culture that is so preoccupied with getting things done and achieving goals (both positive things), but it’s essential to remember self-care and personal wellness. Plus, with allergy season in Colorado just around the corner, it’s best to avoid the sneezing and coughing while you can.