Fall is a favourite time of year for many of us. As the air gets colder, the leaves start to turn beautiful colors of red, orange, and brown and the summer warmth begins to fall away. The days get shorter, and we start to move inside, in preparation for the hibernation of winter, as if the change in environment suddenly calls our attention inward. There’s one unfortunate side effect to this beautiful time of year; we tend to be more prone to illness.
Why we get sick during seasonal change:
The reason we tend to get sick during seasonal change is because viruses thrive in colder weather. According to the National Institute of Health, dry, cold air allows cold and flu viruses to survive longer and facilitates easier transmission. Research indicates that the exterior coating of the virus actually becomes tougher when temperatures get colder, and as a result they become more active and resilient.
Five ways to stay healthy:
Focus on Sleep
In the summer months, when the daylight hours are long and bright and the birds are awake early, it can be difficult to focus on sleep. When we get into the flurry of summer, our focus is on living and enjoying life and it seems harder to get to bed early. But when fall arrives and the daylight hours decrease, it’s the perfect opportunity to put your attention on increasing your quality of, and amount of sleep, which will in turn, help build your defenses against unwanted germs. Even just a few nights of insufficient or restless sleep, can impact your immune system and lower your defenses against germs. Making sleep a priority over the fall, will help keep your system robust and strong.
Take Cold Baths or Showers
It’s an old myth that being cold gives you a cold. In fact, the opposite might be true — cold water could actually strengthen your immune system. A study in the journal PLoS One found that people who take cold showers are 29% less likely to call in sick for work or school. Taking a five minute cold bath or shower daily, will help keep your immune system robust and healthy in the face of seasonal changes.
Eat Seasonal Foods
A great way to keep your focus on healthy eating, is to eat as much seasonal produce as possible. This keeps our diet diverse, ensures we get a multitude of vitamins and minerals throughout the year, and challenges us to get creative with using new vegetables and fruit in interesting ways, all of which keeps our attention on healthy eating. If possible, also be sure to include salmon, oysters, garlic, citrus, fennel, yogurt, kefir, tea, red peppers, mushrooms, leafy greens, blueberries, dark chocolate, carrots, sweet potatoes and oats as much as possible, because they’ve been shown to help keep cold and flus at bay.
Keep The Air Humid & Ventilated
While it’s impossible for us to control our outdoor temperatures and environments, we can control the temperatures and environments inside our houses. There are a few steps we can take, to make our indoor space challenging for virus transmission. First, consider getting a humidifier to put in your bedroom at night, and during the day, simmer a large pot of water on your stove. Even if the air outside is cold, keep your house well ventilated. One research study found that students in dorm rooms with poor ventilation caught more colds, and another found that good ventilation, along with high indoor relative humidity, rendered the influenza A virus inactive.
Take Supplements, including CBD
It can sometimes be incredibly difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our food. During fall and winter, it’s particularly hard. Taking basic supplements like a good multivitamin and fish oil will help ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need and keep your immune system strong. Finally, look at taking a CBD product like Total Body Care, as research into the Endocannabinoid system has found it to be a critical part of many body functions, including improving sleep, clarity, mood, and much more.
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.