Fighting the Flu and Other Illness
As we enter cold and flu season, it's important to pay extra attention to our health. Many of us are now considered to be in a higher-risk group, which makes us more vulnerable to illnesses like the flu and pneumonia. Luckily, there are precautions that we can take to minimize our risk of getting sick.
As the temperatures cool, there are several things to do to help stay healthy:
1. Consider getting a flu shot Researchers determine what the most common flu strains are likely to be each year, and create a vaccine based on their predictions. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop after receiving the flu shot, so the sooner you get one, the more likely you are to ward off the incoming influenza strains.
2. Eat nutrient-dense foods Many vitamins and minerals work together to keep your body healthy. Vitamins A, C, and E, along with Zinc, Folate, and several other nutrients are known to protect your body and enhance the immune system in a variety of ways. Eating healthy, nutritious food helps your body receive the nutrients it needs to fight off illness and chronic disease.
3. Drink lots of water Water will help flush toxins out of your body through the lymph system. Many health professionals recommend drinking at least 64 oz (8 glasses) of water a day to stay adequately hydrated. Note that if you spend time “sweating it out” at Welcyon, you may need to increase that amount to replenish what's lost during your workout.
4. Don't skimp on sleep We all know the body needs sleep to function. But did you know that it requires 7-8 hours of sleep for our “natural killer cells” to be stimulated and attack viruses?
5. Wash your hands Grab some lotion, because frequent hand washing can lead to dry skin. However, keeping hands clean is especially important this time of year. Keep in mind that some of the dirtiest things to touch are money and restaurant menus, so having hand sanitizer available when you go out is not a bad idea, either.
On top of taking a defensive role to staying healthy, it's important to play offense, too. If you are showing symptoms of a communicable illness, try to minimize others exposure to you, especially those who may have weakened immune systems.
From everyone at Welcyon, we wish you a happy, healthy season, and look forward to seeing you at the club.
*Please check with your doctor, who is familiar with your health history, about whether vaccinations are right for you.