As winter approaches, so, inevitably, do coughs and colds, winter stomach bugs and other common ailments. For months, these things seem to be a part of life. Especially if you’ve got children. It can quickly feel like you are passing the same cold between you for months, never quite getting rid of it, and never feeling at your best.
This is a terrible shame, as winter can be an incredibly magically time of year. As the holidays approach, and the streets are lined with lights, you want to be out there enjoying the festivities, preparing with holiday shopping and attending seasonal events. But, this is the last thing you will feel like doing if you are run down, tired, nauseous, achy and full of the flu.
Many companies offer magical wonder solutions to these problems. But, the last thing you want is to be filling your bodies with expensive and potentially dangerous chemicals, which despite the early promise and overwhelming temptation, are unlikely to work. Fortunately, there are some excellent, natural ways to boost your immune systems, protect you from illness and give you the strength to fight off any bugs you do pick up. Here is a look at some of the very best, natural ways to keep your family healthy this winter time.
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals can give your immune system a significant boost. Some of the best foods for this are:
- Red pepper
- Citrus fruits
- Chicken and other poultry
Snack on fruit salads with fresh, natural yogurt and try some warming winter soups and spicy curries to try and get as many of these into your diet as you can.
One reason we get ill is that our organs don’t get the chance to recover and repair themselves from everyday stresses when we are busy. Think about it; you are running around, trying to prepare for the holidays and making everyone else happy, fitting it all in around work and family commitments. Grabbing a quick coffee on the go to boost your energy levels. Chances are you are not properly hydrating. Which means your body is struggling to run at its best and you are more susceptible to picking up bugs and getting sick.
Your body is made up of massive amounts of water, which it uses throughout the day. To keep it functioning at its best, you need to drink two liters of water every day. This helps with everything from improving your immune system and your internal organ functions to keeping your skin bright and your hair shiny. If you have a hard time drinking enough, carry a bottle around with you and sip on the go.
Sleep, along with water, gives your body a chance to recover and repair itself. This will help protect you from disease and give you the best chance to beat off anything that you do catch.
Another advantage of getting plenty of sleep is that your stress levels will be significantly reduced. Stress can make you feel tired, unwell and lower your immune system’s functions. So, find time to relax and unwind at the end of each day.
While you can get everything you need from your diet; some supplements can give you an extra boost. Which can’t hurt over winter. Shilajit, for example, could be a welcome addition to your diet. Shilajit is a sticky, black substance that has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine and has a huge range of benefits for your body. These include boosting your immune system, protecting your heart, encouraging healthy ageing, regulating hormones, helping with pain and fighting inflammation.
While exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing when it’s cold outside, it can have an incredible effect on your health and make you feel better. If you can’t face leaving the house try some online routines or invest in some fitness DVDs.
Practicing good personal hygiene, and encouraging your children to do the same is the first line of defense from germs and bacteria. Make sure you wash your hands before and after eating, after touching rubbish, after using the toilet, after blowing your nose and at regular intervals throughout out the day. Encourage others to do the same by making sure they always have access to soap, water and a towel at home (maybe a fruity fragrance to please the kids) and by investing in an antibacterial gel for when you are away from hand washing facilities.
You should also ensure that everyone baths or showers regularly and keeps themselves and their clothing clean and tidy.
Wrapping Up Warm
Wrapping up is another easy way to protect yourselves from the spread of disease, and it will also make facing those cold winters day much easier. All members of your family should have waterproof boots, water and windproof coats, hats scarves and gloves and warm layers of clothing.
When you are at home, turn the heating on if you need it and make sure you keep everyone warm with lovely hot drinks and snacks. Keeping warm at home can even be fun, why don’t you build a den and have a fun day watching DVD’s with hot chocolates while you lounge around in pajamas and slippers? You could keep everyone healthy and happy while saving money on your heating bills!
If all else fails, and you do start to feel something coming on, accept it. Don’t try to power on through, as so many of us do. Stop, take a few days off, stay at home and get plenty of rest. Coughs and colds are a normal part of winter time, and even with the best of intentions, you are unlikely to prevent them all. So, don’t feel disheartened, carry on with your immune boosting routines. But, always remember that while natural boosters and supplements are amazing, if you are seriously unwell, or your condition isn’t improving, you should visit your doctor, especially if you are worried about any specific symptoms.