Kick the Flu & Cold Season Grinch This Holiday Season!

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While most of us are happily saying goodbye to a long, hot summer and welcoming the new winter season, we can't forget that the cooler weather can oftentimes bring the dreaded "crud" along with it. Winter is often given a bad rap, as it marks the official arrival the cold & flu season. This time of year can be especially problematic for seniors, whose immune systems have a harder time fighting off the ill effects of the flu or a cold. However, with just a little effort, there is no reason for our health to suffer during the colder months! 

There are a number of things we can do to help keep ourselves just as healthy, happy and active during the winter as we are during summer. Here are five easy tips for staying healthy this winter: 

Sleep well: Rest is one of the most important components of maintaining optimal physical and emotional health. It’s important, especially during flu season, that you maintain your energy levels by setting aside time for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. In order to ensure you’re able to get the ideal amount of rest nightly, it’s recommended to support your sleep schedule with good bedtime habits that include powering down electronics an hour before bed, doing something relaxing before getting in bed such as taking a bath or reading, and drinking warm milk or sleepytime tea before bed.

Boost immunity: Cold and flu season is undoubtedly the time of year when our immune systems become the most compromised, so it is important to ensure that you are including beneficial nutrients in your diet to kick charge it during the chilly winter months. Experts recommend consuming natural products like orange juice and supplements like Emergen-C or Aeroborne that support your immune system with lots of of Vitamin C.

Keep moving: It can be more difficult to take part in typical physical activities like walking around the neighborhood when its blustery outside, but exercise is an important method elevating energy and mood levels to support your overall wellbeing during the winter. If you are a walker, relocate to an indoor area, such as the mall (you can even kill two birds with one stone and get some holiday shopping done, as well!) If swimming or jogging is your preference, look into a temporary membership at a nearby gym. Just make sure to get those 30 minutes a day in!

Find ways to unwind and de-stress: The mind-body connection in relation to our physical health is truly a remarkable thing. Stress levels have a major effect on our immune system, and finding the best way to keep your own stress level as low as possible plays a key role in being proactive about your health. Whether its carving out time to relax in front of your favorite show, take a bubble bath, or practicing calming meditation and breathing exercises, make sure you’re treating yourself to daily  “you time” to recharge your batteries.

Wash your hands and avoid those who are sick: During the nasty cold and flu season, it can feel like everyone we know is coming down with the same thing, from coworkers to loved ones. It might feel like it’s inevitable that you’ll get it as well, but by taking careful measures like carrying a mini bottle of hand sanitizer and keeping a healthy distance from individuals you interact with that are feeling under the weather, you CAN successfully keep the bugs at bay!

For more tips on staying healthy during the winter, visit www.WebMD.com!