Hey you! We’re getting into that time now where the weather gets colder (at least in the US and northern parts of the world - you Aussies are too lucky) and the days get shorter *sad face*. That also means our immune systems may lower and sickness is more likely to happen. I haven’t been sick in over a year; even with the dreaded cold winter days I’ve been able to stay healthy and happy! Here are my secrets to not getting sick this winter.
Take your vitamins, especially D
While I honestly have a hard time with taking vitamins (I hate downing a bunch of pills!) I make it a priority to have a lot of vitamin D, especially in the winter. According to Medical News Today, Vitamin D helps against multiple diseases such as cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. There are many facts Medical News Today gives on Vitamin D, I’d highly recommend you check it out.
Usually in the winter people are more likely to become vitamin D deficient because we’re not out in the sun as often… or at all! When I don’t take vitamin D in the winter my vitamin D levels are dangerously low, so I make it a point to take 1,000 - 1,500 IU of vitamin D per day.
Remove/handle negative people in your life
Now, I know this is easier said than done, but hear me out on this one. If you have that one person (whether it be a friend, co-worker, family member, etc.) who is always putting you down, even in a sneaky way, aka, acting like they’re helping you when really they’re secretly trying to hurt you. IE: Friend tells you “Oh, don’t wear that dress - only skinny girls can pull that off”. That’s hurtful, yet they cover it up by saying “I’m just trying to help you out, don’t make such a big deal out of it.” That’s not okay and that’s not a true friend in my book.
Comments like that can totally lower your immune system and make you feel like crap, thus making it easier for you to get sick. Removing someone like that can be super relieving, but I also understand that it’s not always possible. If you can’t remove that person, because maybe they’re a relative, then talk to them and let them know those comments (or whatever it may be) hurts - they may just not realize they’re offending you. Sometimes you’re the only one who can stick up for yourself and that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to put someone in their place when they deserve it.
Get enough sleep
We all know that getting enough sleep is crucial for a good immune system, but it’s even more so in the winter when we’re more likely to get sick (plus, it’s another excuse for you to sleep a lot!)
“A new study published Monday in the journal Sleep finds people who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for developing colds… After adjusting for lifestyle and other factors noted in questionnaires, the researchers found those who slept less than six hours each night were over four times more likely to develop the cold, compared with participants who slept for more than seven hours each night. Participants who slept even less—five or fewer hours each night—were 4.5 times more likely to develop a cold. The researchers didn’t observe a difference in cold susceptibility between participants who slept seven hours and those who slept eight or more a night.“ - News Week
Read the full article here.
So, get your beauty sleep, girls, it may just save you a cold!
You knew this one was coming…
Do regular exercise
According to Harvard Health Publications, regular exercise is one of the main components of healthy living (obviously!). It improves cardiovascular health, protects against diseases, lowers blood pressure and more. With all of that being said, it’s no secret that regular exercise contributes to a healthy immune system. Working out isn’t just to look good for the summer, it’s so we can prevent getting sick in the winter ;)
Skip the coffee, drink green tea
Okay… so don’t skip the coffee (I’m in love with it so I could never quit), but get in a couple cups of green tea while you’re at it! Green tea has an ingredient in it called Epigallocatechin, aka EGCG, which helps suppress inflammation, which also helps if you’re already sick. Green tea is also a great way to decrease bloating! There’s actually a ton of benefits from drinking green tea; you can read what Authority Nutrition says about it here.