wintertimeAvoiding illness is trickier in the wintertime for many reasons.  People are confined indoors closer together, the indoor air in drier and the stress of the holidays takes its toll on many of us.  Today, I wish to remind you of the many simple ways you can prevent getting sick.

Viruses spread easier in drier air, so consider a humidifier if your house is very dry.  Signs of this are static electricity “shocks”, dry skin and increased thirst.  Keeping a window cracked open in milder climates helps.  Many new air filters catch and kill viruses and bacteria, also.

Sleeping at least 8 hours a night is one of the best immune supportive things you can do for yourself.  Eating whole foods and avoiding sweets also helps tremendously.  Exercising, especially early in the day outdoors (in the sun if possible), increases our immunity and is a great antidepressant.

Washing your hands often, coughing into your elbow crease rather than your hands, and being careful not to share pens and other items that could carry germs are always helpful preventative strategies.  Stay home from work or school if you feel under the weather.  This really does help speed up the recovery process.  The simple stuff really works.  That’s why us doctors keep mentioning it.

A multivitamin supplement, or just additional vitamins A, C & D, , and fats such as are great daily preventative nutrients to boost up on in the winter months.  Contact your naturopathic physician to figure out the best doses of each for you and your family.  Also, visit your ND as soon as possible if you start getting sniffles or any other cold and flu symptoms.  Early treatment reduces the duration and severity of infections and will help keep your holidays happy.

Margaret Philhower, ND