Tuesday, February 26 2019
As the weather warms up and we head into springtime, cold and flu season will come to a close (thank goodness!). The reason colds and flus are so rampant in the winter months is because these viruses thrive in cold weather. In fact, according to researchers of a 2008 study published in Nature Chemical Biology, the flu virus’s outer coating hardens in the cold, which helps it remain viable while passing from person to person. There are ways you can keep your immune system up and avoid getting sick as this cold and flu season disappears!
Wash Your Hands
Though this may be obvious, and you probably hear it often, always wash your hands! Wash your hands before you eat, before you touch your face, nose, or mouth, after you pump gas, after you interact with people, etc. Cold and flu germs can survive on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours, so it is important to keep your hands clean and free of bacteria, especially if you are going to touch your face—touching your face with dirty hands is how you catch the virus. Using soap and water to scrub your hands for 30 seconds is enough, you don’t need to go overboard with hand sanitizer, which could actually do more harm than good.
A less obvious tip to staying cold-free and maintaining a strong and healthy immune system is by getting plenty of vitamin D! The best way to get enough vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight, or by taking supplements. This is the perfect excuse to open your Bi-Fold Patio Doors and read a good book while you relax in the sunshine and get your daily dose of vitamin D. Just 20 or 30 minutes of sun exposure each day will provide your body with the vitamin D it needs to give your immune system that extra boost!
The food you eat is a great way to bring in the natural vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain a strong immune system and function at it’s best. Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of nutritious foods to keep your immune system up and ready to fight off any germs you may encounter. Some foods to keep in mind when you want an extra immune boost are citrus foods, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, and spinach.
Sleep & Relax
Your body and immune system rely on sleep to recharge and recover. While you sleep, your body repairs damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, so it is important to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night (the more the better). When you are feeling stressed, it is important to try to relax and let go of the stress you are feeling—stress can also have a negative affect on your overall health and immune response. Getting your daily dose of vitamin D will boost your immune system and help you de-stress, so don’t hesitate to spend some time with your folding patio doors open and enjoying the fresh air and warm sunshine.
Getting regular exercise can be difficult, especially during the colder months, when all you want to do is be warm and cozy, but it is important in maintaining a strong immune system and preventing a cold. Just 30 minutes of power walking each day can give you the activity you need to boost your immune system and maintain a healthy weight. Additional benefits of daily walking are weight loss, better metabolism, reduced stress, better sleep, and an overall better quality of life! You can even kill two birds with one stone by getting your daily vitamin D intake and exercise at the same time!
To learn more about increasing the natural light in your home using Bi-Fold Patio Doors, click here.