It’s That Time of Year…Be Ready!
This has been a strange year. And you’ve probably been anxious to get back to “normal”.
Unfortunately, not everything “normal” is good. Around this time every year something predictable happens that you’d probably rather avoid.
Cold and flu season.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives. But that doesn’t mean the common cold and the flu aren’t still around.
And if you think they aren’t a big deal, consider a few facts:
- Each year, U.S. workers miss up to 111 million workdays because of the flu.
- American companies lose about $16.3 billion annually due to the flu.
- The common cold directly causes 20 million lost workdays each year plus as many as 50 million more lost days due to reduced productivity.
- The total annual economic cost of the common cold is estimated at $25 million.
In an ordinary year, that’s a lot. And this year has been anything but ordinary.
It makes sense now more than ever to take action so you can lower your risk from colds and the flu.
The good news? Most of what follows are simple, common-sense steps. And thanks to COVID-19, you probably know a lot more about your immune system than you did a year ago.
To minimize your cold and flu risk, you should (a) minimize your exposure to viruses and (b) strengthen your immune system.
Minimize Your Virus Exposure
As of this writing, we’ve all been working to avoid the COVID-19 virus for several months. The good news is that you can reduce your risk of catching a cold or the flu by following the same guidelines:
- Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when you can’t.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces like doorknobs, counters, light switches, and cell phones.
- Avoid crowds (especially indoors) and try to stay 6 feet away from others.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you’re around people who aren’t members of your household.
In other words…do what public health experts have suggested for the past several months. What works for COVID-19 also works for cold and flu viruses.
Some additional good news is that researchers think we may see a milder cold and flu season this year because so many people are already following these guidelines.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Despite your best efforts, you may still come in contact with cold and flu viruses.
This is where your immune system takes charge. And the following steps can help strengthen your immune system’s response:
- Get enough sleep: while you’re sleeping is when your immune system produces virus-fighting cells like cytokines and antibodies.
- De-stress: stress produces excess cortisol, which attacks virus-fighting lymphocytes and causes inflammation.
- Exercise moderately: a daily 30-60 minute workout boosts the production of immune cells.
- Eat right: citrus fruit, broccoli, garlic, spinach and almonds are just a few foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals for your immune system.
- Take your vitamins: supplementing vitamins C, D, E and all of the B vitamins can help keep your immune system going strong.
- Keep your hormones balanced: an effective immune system requires proper levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, thyroid, growth hormone, and melatonin. As you get older, production of these key hormones declines…resulting in a less robust immune system.
Finally…consider getting a flu shot. Not only does it reduce the likelihood you will get the flu, but if enough people get flu shots it makes it harder for the flu to spread.
At Renew Youth we want you to be at your healthiest in all respects. If you have any questions, either call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.