6 tips to Fight the Flu

When I was little winter season was much colder than it is today. I remember many mornings when you pull your blinds up in the morning and found the whole backyard covered in bright white light – the first snow had fallen. With the excitement and pure happiness that only a child can get, I would run into my little sister’s room to wake her up. We would then rush through breakfast before getting dressed and running outdoors to play. That crispy sound when walking on new snow, the biting cold on the cheeks and fresh air to breathe in. We would spend hours outside playing in the snow, building snowmen, creating snow angels and even attempt to build an igloo (which we never mastered). In our small neighbourhood you could hear laughing children everywhere, mixed with poor parents trying to start up frozen cars. Before the darkness came we would go back indoors, starting with stomping the snow off our shoes and starting to unwrap layer after layer in the hallway, leaving big wet puddles around us as the snow melted. It’s only when you go back inside that you realise how cold you really are. Fingers and cheeks all red from the freezing weather and that burning feeling when the body starts to heat up again. You feel cold all the way into your bones and only way to get warm is by wrapping those cold hands around a warm cup of hot cocoa. It’s memories like this that I really cherish.

So how come that children can be outdoors all day in the winter and still not get sick? We say that layering up and keeping warm is the key but what else is important? I have shared my best tips for fighting the flu!

  1. Rug up!
    It might not be my number one tip but it’s the easiest to follow (and most obvious) and that’s why I put it at the top. Being cold weakens your immune response and that’s why makes it easier to catch the virus.
  2. Hydrate!
    It’s very easy to forget to drink water in colder weather. Instead we’re drawn to warmer drinks such as coffee, tea or even mulled wine. Even though this is liquid, it won’t hydrate your body like water does. Even some teas will dehydrate you more than you would think. Hydration is super important for the immune system and your gut health (which is responsible for 65% of your immune system). Try to stick with 2 litres if you can. I like to drink my water at a warmer temperature with some fresh lemon or mint leaves at this time of the year.
  3. Stay active!
    I know this can be a tricky one when your schedule is filled up around holiday seasons. Moving your body is super important for the immune system. It changes the antibodies and white blood cells, helps to flush out bacteria from the lungs and airway and helps your digestive system. By building up a sweat you’ll help the body to get rid of toxins too.
  4. Manage your stress levels!
    Easier said than done right? Parties to attend, delayed public transport, deadlines at work, Christmas shopping and so on. Trust me, I get it. When you are stressed, the adrenaline goes up and the body sends out cortisol which is known as our fight-our-flight state. Taking care of invading viruses is not a priority when this response kicks in so your immune system will be offguard.
  5. Sleep!
    This is connected to Point #4 but has other benefits as well. When you’re asleep the body will start to repair and reset itself. There are also studies showing that our T-cells goes down when we are sleep deprived, which will decrease your immune system’s response to colds and bacteria. Even if staying late at the charismas party can be fun, try to make up those lost hours somewhere.
  6. Vitamins & minerals!
    Last but not least – nutrition. Even if you always need a wide variety of minerals and vitamins to stay healthy there are a few to focus a bit extra on for this time of the year. Vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, zinc and folate or folic acid. All this helps your immune system by boosting your body up with antioxidants, balancing your hormones, supporting the digestive system, keeping energy high and supporting the absorption of other micronutrients.

I hope all these tips have been helpful and that you stay away from the flu as much as you can! If you have any other tips, please leave a comment below. The more ideas we got, the better our chances are to fight the flu this winter!

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