Spring is in full swing, and while most of us are itching to get outside as the temperatures climb and the sun is out for more hours of the day, cold and flu season is still lingering, ready to put a halt in your fun. Getting sick during spring is awful, so you’ll want to take action to avoid catching a cold right away.
Active cold prevention works much better at keeping you healthy than treating the cold once you start to develop it. Use these all-natural tips to keep your immune system strong and stave off those dreaded spring colds all season long.
Boost your immunity
Your immune system is the primary defender against viruses that cause colds. You’ll want to keep your immune system strong so that it is prepared to fight off foreign invaders that can make you sick.
There are many ways you can strengthen your immune system. Many of them are simply part of a regular approach to total-body wellness.
- Eat healthy food: Eating a balanced diet, especially one with probiotics, will ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and fuel the bacteria that live in your gut. Your large intestine contains a majority of your immune system, so maintaining good gut health is instrumental in bolstering immunity. You may also want to consider taking a daily probiotic supplement.
- Avoid junk food: As you’re eating healthy food, you’ll also want to actively avoid eating junk food, especially foods high in sugar. These foods can inhibit the immune system by feeding bad bacteria in the gut and potentially leading to gut flora imbalances like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Avoid alcohol and tobacco for these reasons, as well.
- Sleep well: If you aren’t getting adequate sleep every night, your body isn’t going to be in its strongest, healthiest state. Sleep helps your body heal, and a lack of sleep can cause other problems like stress.
- Reduce stress: If you’ve ever felt run down or gotten sick after a period of intense stress, this is partially due to the fact that chronic stress can inhibit the immune system. Utilizing stress relief tips and incorporating calming self-care into your daily routine can work wonders for your brain and body.
- Get antioxidants: Increasing your intake of antioxidants like vitamin C can help the body detoxify and bolster your immune system. Fruits are a great source of antioxidants, as are turmeric or curcumin supplements.
- Exercise: Working out is a crucial part of bodily wellness and strength, but it can also help bolster your immunity. Researchers believe that exercise can stimulate your immune system by elevating your body temperature, kicking virus-destroying cells into action.
- Increase vitamin D: Vitamin D is another crucial compound that helps strengthen the immune system. During winter, many people become deficient in vitamin D because they are spending less time outside and their bodies can’t create it from exposure to sunlight. Fortunately, as springtime continues on, you’ll have more opportunities to generate vitamin D through time spent outdoors.
Minimize contact with germs
When people start to get out of the house more, there’s an even greater chance of them spreading germs. Germs can be spread through contact with physical objects, particularly things like doorknobs and countertops. If you touch some of these things and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you may expose yourself to the viruses.
To avoid getting sick, make sure you’re washing your hands often and staying away from other people who are sick. Close contact with an infected individual greatly increases your risk of infection, so try to keep your distance as much as possible.
Know the signs
Unfortunately, prevention methods don’t always work to keep colds away. If you think you are developing a spring cold, you may be able to help your immune system fight it off faster and stop your symptoms early. You’ll also want to strengthen your body so that your cold doesn’t worsen into a more serious condition like pneumonia.
The first signs to look for are a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. These symptoms may appear a few days before the major symptoms of colds, such as coughing and sneezing, headaches, body aches and chills.
The common cold usually lasts around seven to 10 days. There is no cure, but getting rest and lots of fluids will help your body get rid of the virus and make you feel better. Try taking zinc supplements, as well as eating healthy foods and foods rich in antioxidants to give your immune system the boost it needs to kick viruses to the curb.