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7 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter

November 24, 2014

It seems that every winter at some point or another, we end up getting sick. Whether it’s a stuffy nose, a sore throat, or the dreaded flu, it is tough to avoid catching some sort of illness this time of year. While it is true that we are more prone to catching a bug in the winter, there are still ways to prevent that from happening. Here are seven ways to avoid getting sick this winter.

 

1. Get a Flu Shot

The influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent yourself from catching the flu. It is most effective for those who are prone to serious complications resulting from catching the flu such as those who work in the healthcare industry, pregnant women, and people who suffer from chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes. Click here to learn more about the flu shot and where you can get one.

2. Replace Your Toothbrush Often

While brushing your teeth is important to keep your teeth and mouth healthy, a toothbrush can become filled with germs after you’ve used it for about two to three months. That is why dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush every three months at least. In addition, it is important to replace your toothbrush after having a cold or flu to avoid reinfection after you get over the illness.

3. Use a Humidifier

One of the best ways to combat illness in the winter is to use a humidifier in your house. Dry, cold air can do a lot of damage to your respiratory system, making you more prone to catching a seasonal illness. If you do happen to catch a cold, a humidifier can also help speed the healing process and ease your cold symptoms.

Water

4. Drink plenty of water

Doctors recommend you drink eight glasses of water a day. This can to decrease chances of catching the flu, a cold, stuffy nose, or sore throat this winter. Our body’s first line of defense against an illness is the mucous membrane in our noses. It acts as a sticky wall to catch things like dust and bacteria in order to keep them from getting into our lungs. If you aren’t drinking enough water, the mucous membrane can dry out which makes its infection-preventing power much less effective.

5. A Clove a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Using garlic in cooking is an excellent way to increase immune function. The compound in garlic called Allicin is a potent infection fighter and can help to fight off colds and the flu. The most effective way to utilize the immune building power of garlic is to use fresh, raw cloves. If garlic is overcooked, it is not as effective. Crush a clove of garlic and use it in a salad, sprinkle it over veggies, or with other side dishes. The recommended daily dose of garlic is one clove a day.

6. Get lots of sleep

Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night has many benefits, one of which is fending off infections. Studies suggest that people who get 7 or less hours of sleep each night are three times as likely to catch a cold or flu. In other words, the less sleep you get, the less effective your immune system is going to be. Try creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it. Make sure you get to bed at a certain time every night. That way you can feel rested in the morning and avoid getting sick this winter.

7. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in your health. It can stimulate your body to fight off colds this winter and may even cut your risk of upper respiratory infection in half! It may be more difficult to get your vitamin d fix in the winter considering you probably won’t be spending as much time out in the sun, but here are some other effective sources of Vitamin D.