It’s that time of year again when every time I drive past a Walgreens or CVS I roll my eyes at the message on the monument sign. If you hadn’t heard by now its “flu season”, cue eye roll.
The flu comes from a virus, which is more active in the winter. The virus is more stable in colder and dryer weather which is why flu season is generally from about November until March.
So why my eye roll when I hear people talking about the flu vaccine or flu season?
THE FLU IS NOT A SEASON!!!
Yes, it’s true that the virus is more active in the winter, but this increase in activity coincidently coincides with a decrease in immune system for the typical person.
The days get shorter and people spend even less time outside than the already not enough time we spend due to working the old 9-5 office job.
Stress is often increased due to the holidays.
During the holidays people tend to eat more sugar.
All of this is a perfect storm for decreasing your immunity! Combine that with a more active virus and BAM, you have a so-called “flu season”
So what’s a health conscience, informed consumer like yourself to do? Follow these 6 steps for maintaining optimal immune function this winter:
- Spend at least 30 minutes per day in the sun without sunblock or supplement with vitamin D.
- Manage stress appropriately. This means that during periods of increased stress, your stress management must increase as well. Do some belly breathing, a 5-minute medication, or use one of the strategies I wrote about HERE.
- Eat a nutrient dense diet. Now is not the time to give up your fruits and veggies! Continue to eat the healthy diet you normally do and limit treats to just those special days, not the entire week or month. Those treats will always be there; you do not have to eat it all right now.
- Take some immune boosting supplements. We have some great ones in our office but generally think mushrooms, greens, vitamin C and vitamin D. Again nutrient density is key.
- Stay on your acupuncture game. Acupuncture is proven to boost the immune system so don’t forget your monthly tune up!
- Stay away from sick people! Even with a strong immune system you are asking for trouble when you are around sick people so do your best to limit exposure.
There you go my friends, how to not get the flu in 6 easy steps! Notice how “get a flu shot” is not on the list? As always I encourage you to do your own research when it comes to anything you put in your body. For me the risk vs reward for the flu shot just isn’t there. Give me some vitamin D and mushroom tonic any day 😉