Winter is the season for getting sick. You might catch a cold, you might feel the flu, or the constant cold temperatures and grey days might just make you feel run down and altogether icky. Rather than dealing with that kind of winter malaise, you can do a lot to take care of yourself – starting with these 8 ways to keep yourself well.
1. Work up a Sweat
Even though you might think it uses up more energy than it gives back, staying active and making sure to exercise will get your blood pumping and your heart beating. Exercises ultimately energizes you, and that is one of the best ways you can make yourself stay well, especially in the winter time. It doesn't have to be anything serious; if you're not into gym workouts, just taking a walk or taking 10-20 minutes for an exercise video will do the trick.
2. Get a Massage
Massages are extremely therapeutic. There are even those who say that getting a Swedish massage, even if it only lasts for 45 minutes, can help to activate your immune system, which in turn will fight off all those nasty winter bugs. Besides that, when you make yourself feel good, you are also helping yourself to stay well.
3. Wash up
There's a reason there are so many antibacterial soaps and wipes and hand washes available right now. Remember when you were a kid and brought home everything? If you have kids, think about how, now, they come home with every bug that passes through the classroom. Germs are tenacious, and one way to successfully combat them is to wash your hands frequently. You don't have to get obsessive about it, and certainly be careful about making your skin get dry and cracked. Just have a scrub any time it seems like you've come into contact with anything germ laden.
4. Stay Warm
It's true that there isn't any truth to that old myth that being cold will make you catch a cold, but it's still a good idea to stay warm. Getting cold can cause your immune system to flag a bit. There's no reason not to remain warm and toasty when it's cold outside anyway. And whatever you do, make sure you keep your feet warm!
5. Get the Best Bugs
Some bugs are helpful, of course, and you can get your fill of them by eating the right foods. Probiotics may be able to help you stay well this winter. Even if you aren't into the idea of drinking any of those probiotic shakes or what have you, eating the right yogurt will give you a good dose of the right bugs.
6. Take a Shot
Now, I know some people are completely against the idea of a flu shot, and that's cool – this options not for you. But if you think flu shots help or if you're on the fence, you may want to get one. Even if you don't, just remember that the flu tends to reach its peak around the months of January and February, and take what precautions you can!
7. Cut out the Nicotine
It's pretty well known that if you smoke, you're more at risk for respiratory infections. If you're thinking about quitting, it's a great time to do it. If you're not quite sure you want to, that's cool too – but you should at least try to cut down during the winter.
8. Have Sweet Dreams
Finally, nothing beats a good night's sleep. Getting your rest is even more important during cold and flu season. When you're tired, it can affect your immune system by weakening it, so it gets harder and harder to fight off infections. Make sure you get as much good sleep as you can – and if you have time for a nap, go for it!
I hate being sick, and dread the cold and flu season. There are tons more things you can do to make sure you keep feeling well, though. What are your favorite cold remedies?
Top Photo Credit: Close to Home