As the weather turns cold, it makes sense to think about ways to stay healthy. Here are a few common-sense suggestions, to help combat the typical winter illnesses that plague us.
1) Eat a balanced diet, including breakfast! The more nutrients you get in your system, the more resistant you’ll be to cold and flu viruses. The farmers’ market on 61st is still open, and is a great place to get leafy greens, grass-fed meat, eggs, and other local groceries. Also, drink lots of water, particularly if you feel like you are coming down with something.
2) Get some sun. As the days get shorter, it can be difficult to get enough sunlight. Try going for a midday walk on sunny days- the natural light will make you feel better, and vitamin D can work wonders for your immune system.
3) Exercise! It really does help. If you’re at the gym, though, be sure to wash your hands before and after using the machines; a lot of germs are spread at athletic facilities.
4) Forget just washing your hands at the gym, wash your hands frequently, period. How many people coughed before using that library computer?
5) Try to get enough sleep. Eight hours or more can help boost immunity, and sleep deprivation makes you more vulnerable to infection. I know it is tough, but try to get to bed on the early side: those first few hours are so valuable!
6) Minimize stress. Easier said than done, right? At least make an effort to do something relaxing each day, even if it is only for a few minutes. Try reading a few pages of something for pleasure, watch a TV show, or just sit quietly for a few minutes.
If you do feel that you are coming down with something, it usually makes sense to try to rest up immediately and nip it in the bud. Even one day of bed rest can really give your body the chance to take care of itself. Here’s to a healthy, productive winter!