Brrrrr…. Baby It’s Cold Outside!

January 10, 2015 by
Woman with Cold

Woman with Cold

When it’s cold outside, you know cold and flu season is here! How does a rational person best protect herself from those nasty infections? There are lots and lots of preventive steps and remedies available to us: Vitamin C, zinc, Vitamin D, probiotics, hot tea, hot lemon water, hot toddies, chicken soup, colloidal silver nasal spray, essential oils, Z-Pak, hot baths, steam. You name it and most of us have tried them.

Why is it that you can do all of those things and still get sick? Does the Universe have it in for you? Um, no, that’s not it. If you’re doing all those things and still getting sick, chances are you’ve missed one of these basic steps:

Like your momma always told you, don’t touch your face. Nasty bugs enter our bodies in a few different ways. One is through mucous membranes in the eyes, nose and mouth. Make a habit of carrying disposable tissues with you. Use a clean tissue to dab teary eyes, a runny nose, or smeared lipstick. Then throw it away!

Next entry point for bad bugs: dry, cracked skin. Skin is our largest organ and our first line of defense against disease. If your skin is cracked, you’ve got an open door with a welcome mat out saying “Come on in, we’ve been waiting for you!” Solve that problem with liberal use of lotions or oils to keep skin supple and hydrated. Keep a few bandaids with you just in case; clean and cover cuts, even small ones, right away. Don’t forget your lips: carry lip balm and apply it frequently.

Preventive measure number three: stay hydrated! I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing this one. It’s so cold you’ve skipped your normal exercise routine and you’re not sweating at all, so why worry about water at a time like this? It’s simple: staying hydrated is how you keep your skin from becoming dry and cracked in the first place. It also helps our bodies flush toxins, and the last thing you want is for toxins to build up now!

Good bugs vs bad bugs. We’ve got more bugs in us than cells in our bodies, and we get sick when our bad bugs outnumber our good bugs. Roughly 80% of the body’s immune function comes directly from the gut (our digestive system), so bolstering it is a bold step towards prevention. Try adding probiotic foods like sauerkraut (no vinegar, please!), kimchi and kefir as well as probiotic supplements. These not only support the immune system, they also keep things moving along in the old digestive tract and support a healthy, positive mood.

Sleep! This is no time to be running on empty in the sleep department. Your body and all its internal organs need time at night to process and eliminate toxins as well as to repair normal wear and tear to our cells. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to become worn down and vulnerable to illness.

If you do feel a cold coming on, that’s the perfect time to increase water intake, add some probiotics, and get some more rest. Take care of yourself this season, and by all means, stay warm!