You can get ahead of cold and flu season by embracing a few habits that can help support a healthy immune system.
Plus, boosting your natural immunity doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.
You may be doing some of these things already. If not, take baby steps to build new habits, because trying to do too much too soon may lead to frustration.
What steps can you take to fit these five tips into your life?
1. Get a good night’s rest.
Like stress, sleep deprivation can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system and lead to a longer recovery time if you do get sick.
Practice good sleep habits like putting away your devices before bed and creating a wind-down routine to help you relax.
2. Watch your stress levels.
Stress can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off a cold or the flu. Try practicing stress-reduction techniques such as daily meditation or breathing exercises.
3. Keep your hands clean.
Wash your hands often, especially when entering or leaving public places or touching surfaces. Cleaning your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can be the best way to remove germs. When that’s not possible, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
4. Stay active.
Exercise can help alleviate stress and support your immune system — and physical activity doesn’t have to be intense to make a difference. To get started, you can try taking a daily walk or practicing gentle yoga poses.
5. Focus more on nutrition.
A healthy diet supports a healthy immune system. In addition to the supplements, you may already take, try to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Citrus fruits
- Green tea
Cleveland Clinic: We’re now several months into the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re also fast-approaching peak season for yet another viral illness: influenza. Infectious disease specialist Kristin Englund, MD, explains the differences between COVID-19 and the flu, and shares steps we can all take to help us stay healthy this flu season.
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