Preparing for Cold & Flu Season — How to Start Boosting Your Immune System Now!

This year, the experts have warned us to be ready for cold and flu season amid the coronavirus concerns. Ideally, the best thing you can do is boost your immune system to minimize or even prevent your chances of getting sick with any illnesses floating around. The sooner you start boosting it, the more prepared it will be to take on intruders and keep you healthy.

Here's what to do to be ready!

Fill your plate with nutritious foods

It's so easy to fill our plates with tempting treats for the upcoming holidays. And indeed, while a slice of Mom's best pie is worth the splurge, focus on filling the rest of your plate full of things that do your body good. Make use of seasonal fresh fall foods like winter squashes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, nuts, and seeds. All in all, practice balance, so you still enjoy your favorite seasonal goodies while still eating nutritious-dense foods to keep your immune system healthy.

Focus on gut health

The more gut health is studied, the more obvious it becomes that we should be taking extra care to keep it healthy. Your gut and immune system work together, so keep your good gut bacteria thriving, and your immune system will stay healthier. You can eat naturally probiotic foods like yogurt or kimchi, or you can take a probiotic supplement if you so choose and your doctor agrees. Be sure you're eating enough fiber too, though, so that good bacteria can really thrive.

Sleep well

It's not always easy, but when you make time to get deep sleep each night, it supports your body's overall health. Your body completes restoration and cleansing rituals within your cells through these crucial hours. Plus, as you sleep, it can build up its army of white blood cells should it detect an intruding pathogen.

Get your exercise

Exercise boosts immunity, too, so don't let colder weather get you down. Also, you'll get the stress relief you need so you can strengthen your immunity in 2 ways. You don't need a gym either -- you can do exercises at home or, even better, get out there in the fresh air and enjoy the calming spirit of nature as you walk, jog, or run.

Find proper ways to handle stress

Along with exercise, letting go of tension in other ways is encouraged. Try meditation, yoga, journaling, or talking to friends and family to release that stress in a healthy way. The holidays bring a lot of pressure for many, so be proactive about this before the season hits.

Take care of your other conditions

Underlying health conditions can make it much worse for you should you get sick -- whether it's a cold, the flu, or even COVID-19. It's time to make sure you get your checkup with your doctor to monitor your blood pressure and how all other health markers are looking. If you have an underlying condition, your doctor will advise you on protecting yourself in your particular situation.

Take care of your health every day, starting now. Doing so can help you from getting sick. And remember, if you do get sick, stay home and get better first!

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Health and happiness,

Alicia Williamson RN, BSN, MSNW, CHC

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