It is true that the arrival of winter does not mean you are guaranteed to get sick. Still it is the time of the year when viruses are out in force and many people become victim of it.
During this time of the year, it is not easy to avoid getting sick as sometimes it just happens. For that reason it is better to prepare yourself to keep those cruel, relentless germs at bay. The truth is that it is simply a matter of taking care of yourself. The best way to avoid winter germs is a healthy lifestyle and good personal hygiene. Certain lifestyle tweaks can boost your body's natural defenses to help you fend off illness. Here are some smart strategies that can help keep your immune system in fighting form.
• Wash your hands as much as you possibly can. Each time you shake someone's hand, wash yours. Pouring lots of water over your hands will dilute any germs and send them down the drain, and soap will help slough off the germs quicker. Sanitize all shared items in your home and office, door handles, remote controls, computer keyboards, oven buttons, and so on. Besides, do not touch your face frequently. Your nose and your eyes are the most common places for germs to get into your body, so it is best to avoid touching your face, at least until you have washed your hands.• Try to stay indoors when humidity is higher. In dry air, particles emitted from sneezing and spluttering break into smaller pieces and are better able to stay aloft and inhaled by others. In the damp outdoors, however, particles are more likely to stay intact, dropping heavily to the ground. A room or whole-house humidifier would not just keep your lips moist rather it can help you stay healthier during the winter.
• Hit the gym before your jab. When you exercise prior to receiving flu shot, the post-exercise inflammation boosts your body's immune response to the virus in the vaccine. People who performed 25 minutes of lifts targeting their biceps and deltoids were able to increase their immune response, according to a study. Exercising five days a week reduces upper-respiratory tract infections by almost 50 percent.
• Vitamin D can spur your body to fight off colds. In fact, taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a week may cut your risk of upper respiratory infection by half. Sunlight is in short supply during the winter, but as the primary provider of vitamin D, it is essential that you get some sun exposure during this time. Vitamin D is a 'pro hormone' that has an important role in directly regulating the immune system in the body. In the winter, many people stay indoors and get inadequate amounts of sun exposure. This is a key requirement for synthesizing vitamin D naturally, which results in lower vitamin D levels and a diminished ability to fight off infections.
• A good night’s sleep is necessary. In a survey carried out by the University of California, participants who said they slept for 5 hours or less on an average weeknight were 28 percent more likely to catch a cold and 82 percent more likely to contract the flu compared with those who slept for 7 to 8 hours on weeknights.
• Diets low in protein can weaken the immune system. So, add protein-rich foods such as milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, and fish to your daily menu and eat your way into good health this winter. Moreover filling your plate with fishes can be another option in this regard. In a study it was found that increasing your omega-3 intake can spur postexercise production of infection-fighting cells, which can help protect against certain infections. Besides, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help support your immune system.