Winter is quickly approaching, and with the colder season typically comes sniffles and other upper respiratory ailments. While you can’t do much about all the viruses that may be floating around out there, you can do something about protecting yourself and minimizing the odds of falling ill.
Consider adopting the following tips to have a healthy winter season.
1. Take Your Vitamins
A good mix of vitamins is essential for health all year long, but there are a few vitamins that play a big role in winter health in particular.
For instance, though vitamin C might not prevent you from catching a cold, studies have shown that taking regular vitamin C supplements reduces the symptoms of a cold if you do catch one, and decreases the recovery time, meaning that you will be less miserable, and for a shorter period of time, than if you took no vitamin C supplement at all.
Another beneficial vitamin in Winter is vitamin D, which helps boost your immune system, so your body is strong enough to fight off whatever viruses you encounter. In the Summer, you can get plenty of vitamin D just by soaking up the sun’s rays for a few minutes a day. But since Winter days are shorter, supplementing your diet with vitamin D can keep your immune system strong throughout the winter months.
2. Get a Flu Shot
If there was ever a year to get your flu shot, it would be 2020. Given the fact that we’re now dealing with another virus circulating, it would help to at least protect yourself from the flu, which you can do by getting vaccinated. While there’s no guarantee that you won’t get the flu this winter, you’ll drastically reduce your chances with a simple, inexpensive shot.
3. Get at Least 7 Hours of Sleep Every Night
Sleep not only plays a role in how much energy you have the following day, but it also impacts your health. Studies have shown that when you sleep, your immune system releases “cytokines,” which are proteins that fight infection and inflammation.
If you’re sleep deprived, your body won’t produce the cytokines needed to keep your immune system strong and your body able to fight off viruses. So get your 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night!
4. Keep Practicing Social Distancing
By now, we’ve had the phrase “social distancing” on repeat in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Now is NOT the time to start relaxing this practice. Be sure to keep at least 6 feet away from others who don’t live with you, both in indoor and outdoor spaces. If you can’t maintain that distance, be sure to wear a mask or face covering.
5. Keep Your Body Active
Regular physical activity can give your immune system a boost and help ward off viruses and infections. It doesn’t really take much to keep active, either. Just strive to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, three days a week. You can incorporate any type of activity you enjoy doing, such as walking, yoga, swimming, or even shoveling the snow!
Of course, you may still get sick no matter how hard you try not to. In this case, you may need to seek medical assistance to help diagnose and treat a possible virus or infection.
If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional health insurance, there are options available. Health sharing ministries provide a flexible and affordable alternative to conventional health plans to receive valuable health care benefits and services.
Contact UHSM to see what type of programs meet your family’s specific needs and budget.