How to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

5 mins read

In this article we discuss the transition from Autumn into Winter, which brings with it the yearly onset of cold and flu season, and will give you some pointers on how to keep yourself healthy so you can enjoy the beauty of Canada’s winter wonderland.

‘Tis the season! We’ve left fall behind and are now settling into the often-frigid weather of Canadian winter. Those of us who live in the subarctic climes of prairie winter generally know what to expect. Weeks of freezing temperatures, shorter days, and considerably more time spent indoors. Winter also brings serene beauty and a whole new genre of outdoor activities! However, accompanying hoarfrost and snowball fights, winter also brings the inevitability of cold and flu season.

During the pandemic, keeping healthy has been in the forefront of many a mind. In addition to the much-discussed practice of properly washing your hands at regular intervals, this article is meant to serve as a reminder of the basics of keeping healthy during our yearly cold and flu season. Running a business and balancing a busy life is a lot more enjoyable without having to deal with a runny nose, a sore throat, or a lingering cough. The following are some tips to keep in mind on staying healthy this winter.

1. Healthy diet

The first step to keeping your body operating properly is in the fuel you provide it! Eating healthy whole foods, while good for you all year around, can be especially beneficial this time of year. Foods rich in vitamins and macronutrients keep our bodies strong and healthy and aid in boosting our immune systems. Also remember to drink plenty of water!

2. Supplements

In conjunction with eating healthy foods, supplements can fill in the gaps not met through our diets. Due to spending more time indoors this time of year, we often don’t soak up as much of the sun as we do in the summer months. Because of this, vitamin D is a great supplement to work into your winter eating. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining health and immunity and acts as a mood regulator, helping regulate stress, anxiety, and happiness! When your mind is less stressed, your body is too.

3. Sleep

One of the best preventative steps we can take is getting plenty of sleep. It is generally recommended to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. Getting quality sleep regularly strengthens your immune system and helps the body heal and reset, as it is during sleep that our bodies go through regenerative processes. Regular sleep helps the body fight off colds, the flu, and many other infections.

4. Exercise and fresh air

It’s easy in the winter months to stay inside curled up on the sofa, however it’s important to get your body moving and to get some exercise. Even when it’s freezing outside, bundle up and get out in the fresh air. We are lucky here in Saskatchewan as even in the winter we tend to get quite a few sunny days. Along with your supplements, going outside helps your body take in some vitamin D. Exercising outside is one of the best ways to keep your body strong and healthy!

5. Mindfulness

As with our bodies, it’s vital that we keep our minds healthy. Winter can be very long and cold and many of us tend to stay home a lot more, struggling with the winter blues. Getting out and socializing is a good idea to keep yourself happy. Why not combine exercise with seeing friends? Fill up a to-go mug with hot chocolate and go for a walk. Equally important is taking time for yourself. Stress can lead to lowered immunity and a greater susceptibility to illness, so relaxing, taking time for yourself, and being with the people you love will greatly help in keeping you well.

While these tips may appear obvious, it can be incredibly easy to forget or ignore them. Keeping healthy in the winter months and avoiding cold and flu can be simple to accomplish with a bit more intention than we may require in the summer months. Just remember, eat well, stay social, get some sun and exercise, and the winter can be enjoyable, productive, and devoid of illness.

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