People get sick at all times of the year, but the winter months tend to be when all those pesky upper respiratory illnesses come out in full force. To help ensure that you don’t fall victim to a virus or infection as the colder weather approaches, here are a few things you can do.
1. Get Vaccinated
While you may still be waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine, there are other shots that you can and should get, such as the flu vaccine. Adults over the age of 65 may also want to think about getting the pneumococcal vaccine for added protection.
During the late Fall and through Winter, people are more susceptible to getting a virus simply because the colder weather keeps us indoors for longer periods of time. This, coupled with fewer hours of vitamin D-rich sunlight, increases the risk of infection.
Plus, viruses live longer in colder temperatures, further increasing our risk of getting sick. To boost your body’s ability to fight off any viruses to which you may be exposed, it’s helpful to get the flu shot every year and stay up to date on other vaccinations as well.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Your immune system depends on the foods you eat to be strong enough to combat viruses. Being in optimal health helps you to ward off infectious diseases, and the foods you eat play a direct role in your body’s ability to do just that. So be sure to fill your plate with vegetables and fruits throughout the winter (and the rest of the year, for that matter).
3. Supplement Your Diet With Vitamins
It can be difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be in tip-top shape and to maintain a strong immune system. So, you may want to top up your diet with some specific immune-boosting supplements such as:
- Vitamin C – Daily intake of vitamin C is important for optimal health, as it helps strengthen the immune system.
- Vitamin B6 – This vitamin is essential in supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system.
- Vitamin E – This potent antioxidant helps the body fight infection.
- Vitamin D – Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is lacking in many people in the winter because of the reduction in exposure to sunlight. But it’s important for your immune system, which is why supplementing in the winter is advised.
4. Cut Back on Sugar
You may want to reduce your intake of refined sugar throughout the winter months to stay healthy. That’s because refined sugar can hinder the performance of your white blood cells and increase inflammatory markers. Sugar’s impact on suppressing the immune system is the last thing you want when viruses are floating around.
5. Practice Social Distancing
At this point, you’ve probably got social distancing down to a science. But just in case you haven’t been as diligent as you should be, now is the time to make a conscious effort to keep your distance from others who are not in your household. This is the best way to avoid viruses and keep yourself infection-free throughout the winter months.
Despite your best efforts, there is still a chance that you may get sick. If you develop an illness that you just can’t shake on your own, you may want to visit a physician to help diagnose your condition and provide a path to recovery.
If you are looking for an alternative to a traditional health plan to provide medical and prescription benefits, you may want to consider looking into health sharing ministries. As a member of a health share program, you may be able to save as much as 50 percent on your health care.
To find out if a health sharing program is right for you and your family, get in touch with USHealthShare today and share the health.