In case you haven’t been paying attention, we have officially entered cold and flu season!
Every year when the winter weather starts to arrive, cold and flue cases tend to rise.
Obviously, no one wants to get sick. Maybe even moreso this year, what with Covid still being a major issue that we are dealing with.
So while there are no ways to completely eliminate your chances of getting sick, there are things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor.
Immune System 101
Now, to be clear, I’m not claiming to be an immunologist and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
But I do think I understand some basics about how our bodies keep us healthy.
When any foreign invaders get past our perimeter defenses, our immune system steps up to fight the good fight.
If the invaders are weak or not large in number? The immune system wipes them out in short order and we are good to go.
When the invaders are a bit more formidible, either in strength or in quantity, it takes a bit longer for the immune system to do it’s job.
And while the battle wages, we tend to notice it.
Aka, we get sick.
When it comes to staying healthy, there are kind of two pieces to the puzzle then, right?
There are the perimeter defenses and the immune system.
The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Let’s start with the perimeter defenses then.
Because if you can keep the invaders out, then you’re pretty much good to go.
The way viruses and bacterium sneak into our system, primarily, are via our nose or mouth.
So how do we strengthen our defenses then?
Don’t overthink this, because it really is rather simple.
If you wash your hands often, and wash them well, that can go a long way toward playing good defense.
That way when you’re touching your food or rubbing your eyes or picking your nose your chances of bringing a virus or bacteria into your system go down.
And that is how you play good defense this cold and flu season.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
On the other side of the coin is playing a bit of offense-the immune system.
A strong and healthy immune system is truly a magnificent thing!
So how do you go about trying to make sure you’re immune system is firing on all systems?
Again, it’s not as difficult as we sometimes make it out to be.
Doing the things that are vital to good health overall typically help strenghten our immune systems as well.
Staying active. Sleeping well. Hydrating. Eating quality foods. Minimzing stress.
I think it’s safe to say that none of us are perfect on every single one of these fronts, right?
So anything that we can do to shore up any of these areas are going to be helpful.
As runners, most of us are good when it comes to staying active.
On the sleep front? Getting more shut eye is never a bad thing. And there are also things we can do to improve the quality of our sleep as well.
During the summer months, drinking plenty of water is usually top of mind. But when it’s colder? Keep drinking your water!
On the diet front, of course you can indulge on occasion. But prioritizing nutrient dense foods is never a bad thing. And maybe you do a bit of supplimentation as well, just in case.
As for stress management, making time for mediation or doing some things that you just enjoy doing are ways to help keep your stress levels from skyrocketing.
Tilt the Odds
Like I said before, there are no guarantees that you won’t get sick at any point now or in the future.
But there are definitely things you can do to tilt the odds of avoiding illness in your favor.
May as well try to do some of those things, eh?
What is Your Tried and True Method for Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season?
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