Avoiding sickness this Cold and Flu season – Jared Kauffman
Around this time of year, most people believe getting sick is just something that is going to happen. It starts to get cold outside, people spend more time inside, people exercise less and then they end up missing work or family functions because they get sick. However, there are many things you can do to protect yourself this cold and flu season.
I will start by saying the most important and well known way to stop the spread of germs, Wash Your Hands! We all know we should be washing our hands as often as possible. The proper way to wash your hands is using antibacterial soap, scrubbing your hands and wrists for 20 seconds. Going along with that, try to avoid touching your hands to your face. We touch a great number of germ infested communal objects that cover our hands in germs. When you touch your face, you are delivering these germs straight to the places they enter your body the best; eyes, nose and mouth.
As it turns out, being cold and being outside in winter without enough warm clothing doesn’t make you sick. Usually the reason more people get sick in winter is they are spending more time inside, in close contact with people who can spread germs. Living in Columbia we are lucky, as there are plenty of days in the winter that are warm enough to be outside for extended periods of time. This rolls right in to the next suggestion, exercise. Exercise can flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, increase circulation to allow disease fighting blood cells to work better, and increase body temperature which can inhibit bacterial growth similar to the way a fever works. However, too much high intensity exercise, approximately greater than 1-1.5 hours multiple days a week can suppress the immune system. This generally happens because this prolonged exercise releases excess stress hormones, which directly affect the blood cells that fight infection. Everyone is different and may have different exercise needs, ask a KORE trainer if you have questions!
Lastly, a good healthy diet and enough water are crucial to staying healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t just mean eating some fruit every now and then. A good well rounded diet with plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits and healthy fats and proteins is the key. Your body needs enough energy and adequate amount of vitamins and minerals to be able to fight disease. The most important nutrients that can weaken the immune system when missing are vitamin D, magnesium zinc and calcium. A good diet will include most of these nutrients, but supplementing with the right kinds may help. Things to avoid are sugar which can suppress the immune system, crash dieting which starves and stresses the body weakening the immune system, and dehydration which prevents the body from being able to flush out foreign substances.
We have some products on our shelves at KORE that can assist you this Cold and Flu season. One product the staff loves is Viracid, a collection of vitamins and minerals that assist the body in fighting infections. If you have any other questions on what you can do, don’t hesitate to ask a KORE staff member!