Learn how to avoid getting a cold this winter and your life will be significantly easier. No more sick days, no more passing that cold between every member of your family, and no more feeling like your head will explode unless your husband goes out right now and buys you some decongestant. I am working on avoiding germs and boosting immunity in between prayers for good health. Want to join me in my quest for winter health? Whip up a batch of my natural flu shot remedy and fight off the flu before it starts!
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How to Avoid Getting a Cold This Winter
While it may not be possible to stay completely healthy this year, you CAN reduce your sick days with a few of these tips. Of course, it helps if you can get the whole family on board. When one person gets sick, often the rest of the house follows. If you do get sick, check out my post on how to survive a cold to help speed the healing process. Want to learn how to avoid getting a cold this winter? Here are a few things on my ‘stay healthy’ to do list!
Eat healthy to stay healthy:
Fruits and vegetables in the diet do more than just add fiber, they provide essential nutrients that your body needs to fight off infection. Although finding things in season gets iffy in the winter months, you can usually go with winter squashes, root vegetables like beets, and cool weather crops like broccoli and apples. Hide them in pancakes, juices, or quick breads if your kids are picky! If you want to buy melon in winter, try to stick to organic if possible or buy frozen berries if they are cheaper.
Healthy Recipes to Try
- Healthy Fruit Salad Recipe with Easy Yogurt Glaze
- Homemade Hummus Dip Recipe for a Delicious Healthy Lunch!
- Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe with Spinach and Apricots
Take a multivitamin:
Just a general, all purpose one is fine. Make sure kids under the age of 12 are getting a children’s version. They make tasty gummy vitamins for both kids and adults so there is no reason to skip this essential step. Multivitamins help fill in the gaps where our daily nutrition falls short. If you are concerned about specific health issues, you can add in other vitamins and supplements as needed. Some popular ones in my house are Omega 3 supplements and probiotics for digestion.
Keep hands clean at all times:
When kids come home from school, make sure they go right to the sink to wash up. Do not pass go, do not hug mommy, just go right to the sink! You don’t need anti bacterial soaps, just plain soap and warm water will do the trick. Get young children to sing the ABCs or a hand washing song to make it fun. Generally, I think dirty kids are healthier, however, this doesn’t hold true for winter germs!
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Watch what you grab onto!
Knowing how to avoid getting a cold is important, however, none of these tips will help if you bring home some superbug you picked up in a public restroom. I must admit, I am not a big fan of public rest rooms and use a paper towel or my sleeve to open the door instead of touching the handle. Call me paranoid, I know. I just don’t know that the lady before me bothered to wash her hands, you know?
Never go anywhere without wipes or hand sanitizer:
I like to keep hands clean even when I am away from home. I usually bring biodegradable hand wipes that have Aloe and Vitamin E and maybe a little bit of alcohol to sterilize. Use them not only on your hands but also on things like grocery carts and such that 8 million people have touched before you. Try these DIY hand sanitizing wipes and avoid the harsh chemicals. Or, throw some all natural hand sanitizer into your purse.
Get plenty of sleep:
This one is really vital. If you are run down, your body will not be able to mount an immune response as easily and you will get sick more often. A good 8 hours would be perfect but if you can’t do that, maybe a little 30 minute cat nap in the afternoon just to catch up. Check out my post on all natural sleep remedies if you have trouble sleeping at night. Knowing how to avoid getting a cold is only the first step. You need to make sure your immune system can fight off everything else as well.
Try to keep stress and chaos to a minimum
I know, easy as a mom to do, right? Your emotional and physical well being really are tied together very intimately. In times of stress and anxiety you will have a compromised immune system as well and being sick AND stressed is not fun at all!
Try and get a little bit of exercise every day:
Want to know how to prevent being sick? EXERCISE regularly! Walk, stretch, do yoga, etc. There have actually been studies done that show an increase in immunity with exercise. And, it helps with the whole stress issue mentioned above, too. Here are a few articles you may enjoy on fitness and exercise:
- Workout Tips for People Who Hate Exercise!
- How to Wash Workout Clothes and Ditch the Stink!
- What to Know About Yoga Before Your First Class
Keep your house clean:
You don’t need to be able to perform surgery on your kitchen table. However, do a quick swish and swipe of your door knobs, sink handles, toilet handles, and light switches on a regular basis. Those commonly touched surfaces are havens for cold and flu germs. Change bathroom hand towels frequently.
Avoid the doctor’s office!
Unless you REALLY have to go, don’t head to the doctor’s office in winter. Honestly, that is where all the really sick people go! Do not schedule your well child checkup, PAP smear, dermatology appointment or anything non necessary for cold and flu season. Avoid cold germs by staying away from large groups of sick people.
I hope these tips on how to prevent being sick this winter help keep you a tad bit healthier. No amount of care and caution is going to keep you safe from germs 100%. There will always be cold and flu germs and there will always be someone who just can’t fight them off. Take care of yourself and your children when you DO get sick.
One or two days of bed rest, fluids, and pampering will go a long way to getting you back on your feet again. It’s better than pushing yourself to go to work sick for a week and a half and then ending up with something far worse than your started with because you got too run down to recover!
Do you have any other tips on how to avoid getting a cold?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.