Related Posts


Stay Healthy     

By on Jan 22, 2024 in News

This cold and flu season has been tremendously terrible for many. Between the flu, COVID-19 and RSV, many have felt the wrath of these illnesses. Here are some ways to navigate this flu season by staying mentally and physically healthy.

Create an outline for a daily wellness routine that includes healthy habits for flu prevention. Start the mornings with gratitude and make time for deep breathing and meditation. Mindfulness practices reduce stress and support mental health. Drink water throughout the day, even if you don’t have a fancy Stanley cup! For a refreshing drink, make a special immunity water with fresh lemon, cucumber, mint or ginger.

Water absorbs nutrients, is a critical component of lymphatic fluid and supports the health of mucous membranes. Incorporate more walking, whether in the morning or evening. Outside, fresh air helps the body, mind and soul. Never complain! Not even with coworkers—complaining is toxic. Always include healthy habits for flu prevention by washing hands regularly for 20 seconds, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth. For more healthy habits, see the CDC guidelines.

Make time to schedule and incorporate immune-boosting foods, adequate sleep and exercise.

Essential vitamins and minerals are crucial for immune support during flu season. Incorporate some of the following that play a vital role in immune health:

  • Beta Carotene: found in plant foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mangoes and broccoli.
  • Vitamin C: citrus fruits, melons, berries, bell peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.
  • Vitamin D: fatty fish and eggs. Milk and 100% juices fortified with Vitamin D are also good choices.
  • Zinc: Best absorbed in beef or seafood but also found in tofu, beans, nuts and wheat germ.
  • Probiotics: probiotics are good bacteria that promote health and are found in yogurts and fermented foods like kimchi or sourcrout.
  • Magnesium: an essential mineral found in avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, legumes, tofu, fatty fish, bananas and leafy greens.
  • Protein: animal and plant products, including milk, yogurt, eggs, beef, seafood, chicken, nuts, beans and lentils.

Eat a balanced diet that includes some of these to boost your daily intake of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Limit intake of processed foods, sugar and alcohol.

Adequate sleep is essential and impacts immune function. Bad sleeping habits contribute to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the winter months, when flu season is at its peak. Dr. Chu, a sleep medicine specialist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, writes: “Studies have shown that those who chronically get less than seven hours of sleep a night are three times as likely to develop the common cold compared to those who routinely get eight hours or more of sleep. Likewise, vaccine studies suggest that those who sleep less mount fewer antibodies to certain vaccines.” Prioritize sleep and allow the body to rest to stabilize mood energy and fuel resilience.

Make sleep more manageable when being physically active throughout the day. Regular exercise is beneficial in maintaining overall well-being. Remember, start an exercise routine slowly so it does not lead to burnout. Try doing some micro workouts or “exercise snacks” throughout the day. These bite-sized, low-intensity formats make squeezing movement into more daily moments easier. When doing more of a workout at home or in the gym, high interval intensity training (HIIT) is a great way to move the heart and has a more impactful after-burn post-workout.

HIIT may help burn more calories than a traditional exercise but in less time. Due to the intensity, HIIT elevates metabolism for hours after the exercise. Orangetheory and other specialty gyms work in this zone, making working out fun by earning splat points. Each splat point amounts to one hour after burn. HIIT will also reduce heart rates and blood pressure and has shown improvements in people with diabetes. So get that body moving!