5 things you can do to help ward off winter colds!
Its that time of year again. Everybody is getting sick. Myself included in this, I got the idea for this blog as I was getting over the flu! Fortunately it only lasted a couple days and I'm good to go again. Here is a quick list of some things you can do to help ward off, or at least, reduce the severity of, winter illnesses.
There is no quicker way to wear down your immune system than to not get the recommended amount of sleep. Aim for 7 hours a night. The more the better. This is when you body literally repairs itself, and this boosts your cold fighting ability.
Maintain your workout regimen
Studies have also shown that regular exercise will help prevent the common cold. In one such study(1) women who exercised regularly were found to have half the risk of colds of those who didn't work out!
Research demonstrated that vitamin D supplements can significantly reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections — the underlying cause of common symptoms such as sore throat, fever, cough and sneezing that develop after catching a cold or flu virus(2). This is also one of the cheapest supplements out there. We carry Puori which is high quality and retails at $17 for over a month's supply. [Most people are deficient in Vitamin D anyhow, especially living in New England in the winter!]
Probiotics are live bacteria that help promote healthy digestive systems. Probiotics are naturally found in things like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Or you can also buy probiotic products like from Puori or similar brands.
Probiotics are not expected to eradicate infections. Still they have been used to lower its rate of recurrence and prevent the development of bacterial resistance. They can be seen as the most powerful alternative option for the prevention and treatment of chronic infection(3).
Use hand sanitizer, but don’t forget hand washing is a priority!
Hand sanitizer is great for on the go. It quickly kills 99% of germs. But guess what, it leaves 1% of germs behind, and it isn’t the best at killing nasty ones like norovirus. Whenever you are able, go “old school” and wash those hands in soap and water for 20 seconds at a minimum. Doing the old “squirt some soap on and quickly rinse it off” doesn’t do the trick, you need to actually lather and legit rinse(4). I highly recommend washing your hands right as you get to the gym, and right before you leave!
If you can implement some or all of these, it should help you get sick less often, or at least help you not be as sick and get you feeling better sooner!
1. American Journal of Medicine November 2006: 119(11); 937-942.e5
2. “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.” Martineau, Adrian R., et al. 2017.
3. Doron S1, Gorbach SL. - Probiotics: their role in the treatment and prevention of disease. - Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2006 Apr;4(2):261-75.