With Winter upon us, most people scramble to “winterize” their homes or cars. But what about our bodies? Undoubtedly, the cold weather challenges our immune system making us more susceptible to colds.
Here are 6 simple wellness routines great to follow all year long, but especially designed for Winter wellness:
- Stay hydrated. During cold months, people just don’t feel as thirsty. As a result, they don’t drink as much putting them at risk for dehydration. The body needs water to function properly. Drinking water can even give your immune system a boost and prevent you from getting sick during peak cold and flu season. Water also helps regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues and organs. How do you know if you are drinking enough water? When you go to the bathroom, yellow urine means you need to drink more whereas clear or light yellow urine means you are well hydrated. If you feel thirsty, have dry mouth, are light-headed, can’t focus well, feel tired or notice your skin is dry, then you need to drink more water. Consider hot beverages this winter to stay hydrated, and stay well! Keep a water carafe next to your bed or office desk to encourage frequent water consumption. This will aid the out-of-sight out-of-mind challenge for those that are simply not thirsty during the winter months. Our favorite water carafe, BPA free, dishwasher safe, shatterproof, looks like glass, by Govino.
- Keep warm. Yale researchers have found the cold virus thrives in a slightly cooler environment— that is, it does better in the nose than in the lungs. First, the common cold virus replicates more rapidly when it exists in chillier air surroundings. Second, the cells in our airways don’t do as good a job of fighting off viruses when we’re exposed to lower temperatures. So, it’s entirely possible that if we can keep our noses toasty we might ward off cold symptoms, says study co-author Akiko Iwasaki, a professor in the department of immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine. So, stay warm, bundle up, cover those noses – consider scarfs by day, and warm heated blankets by night.
- Support throat care promptly. Often the first sign of a cold starts with the pesky sore throat. Early symptoms consist of scratchy, itchy, irritated throat, difficulty swallowing, then pain. Being that most colds start from the nose, and the #1 sinus born bacteria is staph-aureus, consider gargling with Gargle Away® Advanced Throat Care. It not only supports fast symptomatic relief of sore throat, laryngitis and vocal care but it reduces the staph-aureus bacteria by 99.9%. The key to supporting normal throat health is prompt action the moment you feel the itchy/scratchy/irritated throat/pain. Gargle Away® offers the most comprehensive throat care and it’s 100% all-natural. It also helps loosen mucus, decrease inflammation, restore your natural pH balance to support normal throat health, soothe cough and more. Available at Amazon, Wegman’s Food Stores, Discount Drug Mart, Value Drug, Fruth Pharmacy and selected retailers.
- Wash your hands regularly and keep sanitizer handy. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Carry hand sanitizer with you in situations where washing your hands is not that convenient – for example, while traveling, at school, following an event with a lot of hand shaking, etc. Consider a hand sanitizer with no alcohol so that your skin is not compromised with frequent use. Perfect for the children as well!
- Stay active, outdoors! Just because the weather is crisp and chilly doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. Seek out some fun outdoor winter activities like skiing or hiking or simply bundle up for nature walks for a dose of mind and body wellness. Getting out exposes you to the Sunshine Vitamin, Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps facilitate normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of the vitamin is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. In addition, new evidence presented in the April-June issue of Dermato-Endocrinology confirms that exposure to the sun in appropriate and measured timeframes has a number of health benefits. A few of those include: enhancing mood, energy, clarity of mind through the release of endorphins, and UV radiation from the sun enhances skin barrier functions which help treat skin diseases such as psoriasis. Google winter activity suggestions near you.
- Get your sleep. Ah, the power of a good night’s rest. Turns out a lack of sleep really can make us more prone to catching colds or the Flu. According to the Sleep Center of the University of Texas, experimental data proves if you don’t sleep well, you will get sick. “Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we come down with a cold or flu. It also influences how we fight illnesses once we come down with them. For example, our bodies fight infection with fevers. “One of the things that happens when we sleep is that we can get a better fever response,” Balachandran says. “This is why feverstend to rise at night. But if we are not sleeping, our fever reaction is not primed, so we may not be waging war on infection as best we can,” says WebMD. If you have a weak immune system, you will likely be more prone to infection if you are not getting enough sleep. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to help reduce stress, improve memory, eliminate depression, have a clarity of mind, live longer, and even curb inflammation – research indicates those who get 6 or less hours sleep per night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more sleep. This C-reactive protein is also associated with Heart Attack. Easy fix. SHUT DOWN your body to recharge or you’ll CRASH your body with illness. Sleep 8 hours! Shut off those televisions and computers. Use Pandora to play soothing music as you slip into a calm deep sleep.
Interested in a short cut to ramping up your Winter wellness routine? Enter to win the Nature’s Jeannie™ Wellness Kit Giveaway which includes the first three wellness recommendations listed here and more! A water carafe and cup, heated blanket, and 6-pack of Gargle Away® Advanced Throat Care with glass tea cup and saucer. Just enough to get you started to stay warm, stay hydrated, and stay throat healthy.
Here’s to a happy, healthy winter and 2016!