Gathering with friends and family, traveling by car or plane, shopping in crowded stores and malls, dusting off seasonal decorations, eating rich foods… these are all the hallmarks of a traditional holiday season. While these traditions mark our celebratory mood and get us in the “holiday spirit,” they also tax our immune systems and open us to viruses and illnesses that can dim the feelings of festivity.
Combine a weakened immune system with exposure to germs, and we’re virtual petri dishes for winter illness. Medical professionals recommend eating healthy, taking time to rest and maintaining a fitness regimen to help us ring in the New Year on a healthy note.
According to Dr. Oz, taking preventive measures is easy:
- Wash your hands – and your surroundings! Flu viruses can survive on surfaces for more than two hours. Using warm, soapy water on our hands is only effective if we also regularly clean refrigerator handles, remote controls and doorknobs – areas doctors say are most likely to harbor germs.
- Get a flu shot – although it’s a little late in the season, it’s better late than never. Vaccines are available through the doctor’s office, medical clinics and many pharmacies, and are often covered by insurance.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated – dry air while traveling or in our homes when we turn on the heat or enjoy the fireplace can dry out nasal passages and make us susceptible to infection.
- Take a walk – walking 30 to 45 minutes each day just five days a week can cut our sick days in half!
- Eat some soup – it really does help alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu. The heat in soup helps clear mucous from nasal cavities, and research has revealed that chicken soup actually has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease a sore throat!
If you do happen to get sick, remember that the flu is a virus, so taking antibiotics won’t help. See your doctor, who will likely prescribe rest, fluids, soup and an over-the-counter analgesic to help combat fever and body aches.
Maintaining your health is easier when you are living the life you’ve always dreamed of in your low-maintenance ranch-style Windsong home. Each Windsong active retirement community was designed to help Boomers achieve a lifetime of resolutions, with walkable streets and a private fitness center in the clubhouse, neighbors with similar life-stage experiences, and home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide an opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!