Throughout this life-changing year and a half, we have all started to listen to our bodies more when we feel an illness coming on. Flu season is typically a time of year when we notice our noses may be more runny and our throats a bit more scratchy – signs of a cold. How can we keep ourselves healthy and avoid illness, from the minor cold to Covid-19?
Hydration – Staying adequately hydrated is very important. Aim for about 6-8 cups of water per day. To help you stay hydrated try infusing your water with fruits and vegetables (I love cucumber + mint and strawberry + lemon water), and use a reusable water bottle or straw in your glass. Keep water near you throughout the day that way you can take sips throughout.
Sleep – Make sure you are getting adequate sleep, about 7-9 hours per night. To help sleep better, turn off your electronic devices about 1 hour before going to bed, avoid caffeine late in the day (I recommend having your last cup by 2-3 PM), and create a relaxing nighttime routine. This could include reading a favorite book, taking a bath, having a meditation session, or other relaxing activities.
Diet – Fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Within our fruits and vegetables are specific nutrients that play a key role in the growth and function of our immune cells, including protein, Vitamin C, iron, Vitamin D, selenium, and zinc. By eating a diet with wide variety you will be consuming each of these valuable nutrients. Aim for at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables per day.
Physical Activity – Avoid staying sedentary! Find movement you enjoy and find a way to include it each day. It’s recommended to perform at least 150 minutes of movement per week. I enjoy performing strength exercises and runs/walks outside.
Stress Management – Self-care is important! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I take self-care seriously; that’s why I have Self-Care Saturday’s on my stories. Take time to practice forms of self-care that work best to help you decrease stress as needed. This could include journaling, taking walks, listening to music, setting boundaries, reading, socializing, and so much more.
Personal Hygiene – Wash your hands! Scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and then rinse under hot water. Use hand sanitizer after washing your hands, never in place of washing hands.
Vaccinations – Very important! Get your influenza and Covid-19 vaccines to protect yourself and your community from illness.