Yes, it’s that time of year again. Cold and flu season is upon us, and although this season is off to a slow start, it’s still important to find healthy, natural ways for you and your family to prevent the flu. And, remember, women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season or who have recently given birth, fall into the “higher risk” category. Young children and the elderly fall into this category, too.
The Natural Way
There are natural ways to help prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses. We recommend the following 10 steps to help keep you and your family healthy and flu-free.
1. Wash Your Hands: Cold and Flu viruses spread primarily through touch. Wash your hands often, and if you can’t get to a sink, alcohol-based hand sanitizer also works.
2. Don’t Cover a Sneeze or Cough With Your Hands: Germs can live for hours on the surface of your skin. Use a tissue, or cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow if one isn’t available.
3. Don’t Touch Your Face: Cold and flu viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. Teach children not to touch their faces, and follow that advice yourself.
4. Do Daily Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise helps your body to increase its natural cold and flu antibodies. Remember, physical activity reduces stress!
5. Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals: The natural chemicals in dark green, red, and yellow veggies and fruits give the vitamins in food a significant boost, increasing your natural immune response.
6. Don’t Smoke: Smokers get more severe and frequent colds. Even second-hand smoke can hurt your immune system and compromise your body’s natural defense against cold and flu causing germs.
7. Avoid Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can damage your immune system, making you more likely to get infections and dangerous complications.
8. Get Sunshine: Energize your immune system by spending thirty minutes or more in the sun every day.
9. Sleep: Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system. Each day, most adults need 7-8 hours of quality sleep in order to keep their body’s autoimmune-response strong.
10. Relax: Your natural immunity increases when you lower your stress levels. Find ways to relax daily – a stress-free body is a healthy body!
The Risky “Flu Vaccine”
Be aware that there are many risks with getting the flu vaccine. Possible serious side effects can occur, including allergic reactions. Symptoms of serious side effects include difficulty breathing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, racing heart, dizziness and high fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately.