Now that the weather is cooling down, cold season is nearly upon us. You have probably been giving dirty looks to sniffling co-workers that insist on coming into the office, and it seems that everyone else is starting to rack up those sick days.
We all know the usual tips that mom gave us for feeling better - lots of rest, plenty of liquids, and chicken soup. But what are the best ways to boost your immune system and prevent getting that cold all together? Here are our tips for staying well during cold season!
Tips for Supporting a Healthy Immune System and Resisting a Cold
We all know by now that the common cold is actually a virus, and it's not caught by just being cold. But is that entirely true? It turns out that the virus thrives at around 91-95 degrees Fahrenheit, but slows in replication when it hits 98.6 - the average human body temperature. Being exposed to colder temperatures can actually reduce your immune systems ability to fight off the cold virus (there is a reason it's called a cold)! So put on that extra layer before you head out of the house.
Hit the sack early.
It may be difficult to resist staying out later with all the holiday parties and events that happen towards the end of the year, but deciding to turn in early will do your body a world of good. Researchers from the University of California and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center agree that not only does getting at least seven hours of sleep help boost your mood, but it also improves the function of your immune system. Participants in their sleep study that slept six hours or less were four times more likely to get sick than participants who slept at least seven hours each night, and this was across all demographics.
Up your vitamin C intake.
This may seem obvious since it is the vitamin that everyone reaches for when they feel an illness coming on. But why does it work? It turns out that vitamin C levels in cells are greatly reduced when our bodies are under stress or trying to fight an infection. Vitamin C helps to improve cellular function, especially in the immune system cells that attack and destroy viruses.
Stay hydrated with tea!
You've probably heard this tip a lot from us lately, but it's a truly important one for staying healthy. Immune cells are more ready to fight when our bodies are getting plenty of water! Tea is a wonderful way to hydrate as it can also help soothe a sore throat, as well as create a calming effect when it's time to go to sleep. Add some True Lemon to make it even tastier!
Stay at home.
While your co-workers may think its okay to come into the office sick, you know better than that. If you're feeling something coming on, take that sick day and stay at home to rest. Not only can going into work spread illness to others (the common cold is actually most contagious 1-2 days before symptoms even appear), but the daily stress of your job will cause the cold to be drawn out for even longer. Call in sick today so that you can be better tomorrow (instead of in 2-weeks)!
Don't rely on over-the-counter "cures."
A lot of those cold medicine bottles at the drugstore are created to dull the symptoms of your illness, rather than truly fight the problem. They cause you to be able to work when you should be resting, and give you a false sense of health. They also tend to contain harmful ingredients and preservatives, that could end up doing more harm than good. The best way to kick a cold is to do it the natural way, by supporting the health of your immune system with rest, hydration, and the right vitamins your body needs.
Don't let cold season get you down! With these tips, you can ensure your immune system has what it needs to fight off any illness. This way you can enjoy the cooler temperatures, and the upcoming holiday season.
Looking for more information on how to stay happy and healthy this fall?
[Credit: "How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?." NHS Choices.]
[Credit: "5 Mistakes People Make During Cold and Flu Season." Boston.com.]
[Credit: Newcomer, Laura. "13 Reasons Tea Is Good for You." Time.]
[Credit: Wintergest, Eva. "Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions." PubMed.gov.]
[Credit: Poladian, Charles. "Common Cold Season 2015: Sleep, Chicken Soup And All Things That May or May Not Work." IBT Pulse.]
[Credit: Engelking, Carl. "Mom Was Right: You'll Catch a Cold from Being Cold." Discover Magazine.]