The weather has turned colder, which is an exciting time of year in many ways. We know that fall and winter months are when the holidays occur, which brings a feeling of magic, nostalgia, and joy to our lives. We also know that the fall and winter months go by another name – cold and flu season. While there are simple ways to protect ourselves during cold and flu season, like staying away from friends and loved ones who are ill and getting our flu and pneumonia vaccines, we can also make quick changes to keep ourselves healthy.
Part of being healthy is making sure that our immune systems are in tip-top and fighting shape. It doesn’t take a lot of work to get to where you want to be as far as immunity goes, so let’s dive into what these changes are. And, as always, if you’re taking routine medications daily, make sure you discuss any changes you want to make with your doctor or pharmacist.
You Are What You Eat
You’ve likely heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” While this is not only true, changing what you eat can immediately impact your overall health and well-being. While you’re sure to be tempted during the holidays to indulge in baked goods and heavy meals, remember it’s okay to do so as long as you include balance in the equation. If you’re attending many events where unhealthy food will be served, make sure at home you’re eating whole foods, even plant-based. Try “eating the rainbow,” meaning eat foods in various colors to get the maximum amount of nutrients on your plate at one time. Healthy eating habits are the cornerstone of a healthy life.
Supplement Where You Need To
Including supplements with your healthy eating habits will give you the maximum benefits of your wise choices. Vitamins many Americans are lacking are – Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Zinc. So supplement with those after getting your doctor’s approval. If you struggle with sleep, supplementing with things like CBD and Melatonin products is a great way to ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep.
Speaking Of Sleep
Speaking of sleep, they don’t call it beauty rest for no reason! Ensuring you get in eight to ten hours of sleep a night is critical for overall health and wellness. Suppose you’ve tried a more holistic approach to getting better sleep, like supplements and calming routines before bedtime, and still aren’t seeing results. In that case, it’s worth talking to your doctor to know if you need prescription medication to help you catch those z’s.
Let’s Get Physical!
Physical activity not only helps your health but also improves your mood. Studies have shown direct links between physical exercise and mental health improvement. The key to sticking with physical exercise habits is making sure you’re partaking in the form of exercise that you enjoy. So, whether it’s walking, biking or swimming, find a physical hobby you enjoy and aim to do it for at least thirty minutes every single day. Not only will you feel good, but it will also help you shed unnecessary weight – which will only improve your overall health.
Stay Social As Much As Possible
Being more locked down the last couple of years, we realized how meaningful our social connections were. So, based on your comfort levels, try to remain as social as possible. Sharing intimate relationships is key to our mental and physical health studies show. Loneliness is a bigger killer than heart disease or cigarettes. Make sure you’re making time to spend with the ones you love. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine.
Seek Treatment When Necessary
As seniors, it’s essential to guard your health closer than you may have in your younger years. If you’re feeling “off” and unwell, make sure you at least phone into your GP’s office to speak with a nurse. You never know when something that might seem minor to you requires an appointment with your doctor. Don’t delay routine appointments and care, and when in doubt – ask your medical team. If you bury your head in the sand, minor problems become much more significant.
So there you have it. The tips mentioned above are quick ways to take control of your health this cold and flu season and enjoy the holidays and beautiful winter months feeling great. Here’s to your health!