Tips and Tricks to Stay Healthy This Winter

Tips and Tricks to Stay Healthy This Winter

Dana Klarer, Senior Editor

The recent flu epidemic during the 2012 and 2013 winter season has been affecting people of all ages throughout the Unites States, due to the drastic climate changes nationwide.

With the dramatic decrease in temperature and the outbreak of the flu, staying healthy this winter may seem impossible; however, getting sick is not completely inevitable.  With the proper care and habits, anyone can avoid the common cold, the flu, or any winter virus.

One of the most obvious yet crucial aspects to staying healthy is washing hands.  Germs are everywhere—if someone is infected, germs can reside in anything they touch, and can last on that surface for over two hours.  The proper way to wash hands is to use soap and warm water, and to rub for at least 15 seconds.  Always carry a hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial hand wipe in case a sink is not available when needed.

The second most important tip to staying healthy includes hydration: one must always drink plenty of fluids during the winter season.  Due to the dry winter air, it is easy to become dehydrated.  Plenty of water should be kept on hand at all times, while soups and herbal teas should also be consumed.  Artificial juices and sodas should be avoided—their high sugar content can severely weaken the immune system.

Sugar intake should be decreased as well—simple sugars can weaken the immune system for over 3 hours after they are ingested.  Refined sugars that should be avoided include candies, desserts, and other sweet treats.

Meanwhile, protein intake should be increased, as it helps build up the immune system and strengthens the detoxification system.  Proteins should be consumed with almost every meal during the day, including animal proteins and plant-based proteins.

Spices, vegetables, and fruits should also be consumed daily—they all contain nutrients that protect against illnesses.  Spices, garlic, and onions have many antimicrobial properties, which prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria in the body.  Fruits and vitamins are both high in Vitamins C and A, and contain nutrients in order to strengthen the immune system.

Lastly, a sufficient amount of sleep per night is vital. Sleep helps restore the body, and if one is deprived of it, the immune system will not be able to function properly. Achieving at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night is necessary in order to let the body heal and restore itself.

No one ever wants to get sick, and following these simple tips will promise a healthy and optimal lifestyle this winter.