It’s that time of year when the weather’s changing, and you know what that means.
(Pumpkin spice lattes? Them, too.)
That’s right: flu season!
Flu season is that time when people are struck by the sniffles, coughs, and those darned colds that just don’t go away. Doctors’ offices are flooded by people who have head colds, sore throats, and runny noses.
But why not head the sickness off before it strikes? You can try a few of our awesome natural flu prevention methods to help keep away the colds and coughs to enjoy a flu-free season:
Exercise is amazing for preventing the flu! Exercise not only strengthens your cardiovascular system and helps to build muscle, but it also kicks your immune system into high gear. As the exercise stimulates your circulatory system, the blood rushes around and delivers nutrients, antibodies, and immune-boosting cells to every corner of your body.
Daily activity can decrease cold risk by 50%, and reduce the severity of any cold or flu symptoms by up to 31%. Aerobic exercise is the key to a flu-free fall, so get out and get active!
Fermented foods—like sauerkraut, kefir, tofu, and kimchi—contain live bacteria cultures known as probiotics. These bacteria act as reinforcements to the bacteria already living in your intestines, working with them to increase digestion and immune activity in your digestive tract. One study  found that consuming beneficial bacteria had a direct effect on the flu:
Between 53 and 73% less risk of fever
Between 28 and 59% less risk of runny noses
Between 41 and 62% less risk of coughing
Between 68 and 84% less need for antibiotics
Pretty clear that taking more beneficial bacteria can do wonders for your immune system!
Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, peppermint, and lemon oil can help to soothe a runny nose, sore throat, congestion, or headaches. Using a few drops of these oils in a pot of hot water can help you “steam” away your colds!
Or, you can use them to simply prevent the cold in the first place…
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Diffusing these oils can fill the air with particles that will bond with and neutralize the harmful viruses that cause colds. Tea tree oil, lemon oil, and eucalyptus oil are all highly potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents that will fight off the flu and colds. Get yourself a diffuser and keep it running throughout the day to cleanse your air and kill off pathogens before they can infect you.
This is one of the most important (and easiest! ) things you can do to fight off colds and the flu.
When you’re out in the flu-filled world, you’re very likely to pick up germs, bacteria, and pathogens throughout the day. The moment you bring your germ-covered hands near your face, you run a very high risk of being infected.
But not if you wash your hands! Hand-washing with hot water and soap for 20 seconds can kill off the viruses that could cause infections. You’ll find that just a few minutes of daily hygiene will go a long way toward fighting off the flu.
Sugar is one of the WORST enemies of your immune system!
High sugar intake actually suppresses your immune function, leaving your body vulnerable to invading pathogens or germs. Too much sugar will also feed the “bad” bacteria and yeasts in your body, leaving you open to various internal infections. While your immune system is occupied dealing with those problems, invading pathogens will be able to take root and get you sick.
During this time of year, make sure to cut WAY back on sugar intake. Your immune system will thank you and you’ll end up far less sick as a result.
Sleep is one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system. Your body uses the overnight hours to recover from infection, inflammation, and wear and tear on your external and internal functions. If you don’t spend enough time resting, your body won’t have the time it needs to recover.
How much sleep is recommended? During flu season, your goal should be no less than 7 hours a night, with up to 8 ½ or 9 hours as the ideal maximum. The more time you spend sleeping, the easier it will be for your body to recover from infections or fight off any invading diseases that could get you sick.
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