7 Tips to Help You Avoid Getting Sick This Winter

Washing Hands - From Lupus to Living Margaret Romero NP
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Everyday we are bombarded with exposure to viruses and bacteria. It can be on the subway, surrounded by sick co-workers, or even sitting near someone at a restaurant or salon.

The most common place is traveling and flying.  Especially if you are on prednisone, your immunity is lowered purposefully but can leave you prone to infections.

With the number of sick individuals I see daily at the office, here are my personal tips I use during this time of the year,

7 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter

1. Vitamin D3

You have heard me say this over and over: Vitamin D3. During the winter months, the majority of us are very deficient.  Take 2000-5000 IU per day. This is a must have, with an added plus of modulating your immune system or quieting down an over-active one.

2. Vitamin C

This little powerhouse is an antioxidant and makes collagen, which heals wounds faster. It also protects you from colds. Vitamin C deficiency can cause joint pain, fatigue, and bleeding gums. Your white blood cells, which help to engulf viruses and bacteria, need large doses of Vitamin C available. If you feel a slight cold starting, take 1000mg per day of ascorbic acid.

3. Sleep

Sleep

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During sleep, your body repairs and recovers. Going to bed at 4:00 am every night and waking up early is a recipe for a run-down immune system. You will wake up one morning with a sore throat or body aches. And let me guess: you won’t call in sick.

Instead, you will power through the day, get worse and expose your co-workers.  It’s essential to get between 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night.  If you are on high doses of prednisone, you are likely to be waking up in the middle of the night, wired from this medication. Let you doctor know, they may want to decrease your dosage.

4. No sugar!

For all you sweet lovers out there, this is for you! Eating any kind of sugar will decrease your body’s natural defenses by 75% for 4 – 6 hours. Sugar reduces the Vitamin C concentration that your white blood cells need to fight off infections. So anytime you consume cookies, chocolate, candy, soda, or fruit juice, you are immediately decreasing your immunity.

5. Zinc

Take zinc throughout the winter months will help prevent you from getting sick, but it also helps to speed up recovery if you did catch a cold. Zinc also supports healthy cell growth and development. It is found in meat and poultry, with huge doses in oysters.  The recommended daily dose is 15-30 mg. Never take on an empty stomach, even the throat lozenges, it may cause nausea. Take with food or right after a meal.

6. Hand Washing

Washing Hands - From Lupus to Living Margaret Romero NP

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Yes, it’s simple! Yet most of us don’t wash our hands, even before a meal.

If you think of all the microbes that hang out on subways, door knobs, and every surface we touch throughout the day, you would be disgusted!

Be mindful not to touch your face or mouth/lips without washing your hands first.

7. Eating Whole Foods

It’s critical to eat well: hot soups, lean proteins and lots of veggies daily. No skipping meals. If its freezing cold outside, try not to only consume cold meals like juicing, unless you are following it with a small meal or soup.

Over to You

So do you have any tips that keep you healthy in the winter months? Please share.