Winter is coming, and that means germs are a-spreadin’. How do you prevent a cold from ruining you or your child’s week?
Here are a few great tips to keep you and your loved ones healthy:
Stop using antibacterial soap!
Yes, washing your hands is super important. However, you should be using a soap that has skin protecting ingredients like aloe and cocoa butter so your hands don’t crack in the colder months. But won’t the antibacterial-ness keep the germs at bay? Not really. Only a percentage of the bacteria on your hands are killed by the soap.
The majority of your cleanliness comes from using warm water and rubbing your hands together. In most cases, using antibacterial soap gives people the false impression that the soap will do the work for them so they don’t wash as well. That means that only some of the germs come off. What doesn’t get killed grows stronger, aka Super Bacteria!
Create a New Habit… No Hands!
Of course you’re polite enough not to sneeze or cough on someone else, but are you using your hands? No no no! Aim for your elbow, or if you have time, grab a tissue. Because warm water and soap are probably within arm’s length at all times, prevent germy hands by not making them in the first place. Teach your kids early to do the same. Schools are a breeding ground for the nastiest of diseases, so you can keep your kid from starting an epidemic by getting them into the habit of covering their sneezes and coughs with an elbow.
Taste the Rainbow (Not Skittles)!
While it’s great that you’re taking a multi-vitamin every day, you might be missing out on a super boost that comes from getting those vitamins and nutrients from food. According to WebMD, the phytochemicals in dark colored fruits and veggies make the vitamins more readily absorbable. Aim for dark leafy greens, red, and yellow colored fruits and veggies.
Work up a Sweat!
Your body’s best defense against bacteria is a good fever. If you feel a cold coming on, turn up your inner heat. Do your favorite form of aerobic exercise to get more oxygen into your blood stream and create more core heat. The faux fever will destroy an oncoming cold. Make sure you keep warm after your workout, too. Take a warm shower and dress appropriately. In some cases, going from hot to cold too fast can shock you into a respiratory infection.
Get a Flu Shot!
A lot of people get cranky about the flu shot. They don’t like needles or the shot makes them feel gross. Whatever the excuse, the truth is that vaccinations introduce a dead virus to your system in such a dose that your immune system understands how to kill it. It’s like running a Virus Definition Update on your computer. You’re not going to skip that and let your computer become infected, so why would you risk your body? Get the shot.
How do you stay healthy during the fall and winter months? Share your tips!