With all coughing co-workers, sneezing strangers and snotting yoga buddies, germ season might seem impossible to escape. But catching a flu can’t always be blamed on the ailing of your squad. It’s actually a complex process and something you can totally outsmart with a few health tips!
Don’t put yourself in quarantine just yet. There are more effective ways to fend off the flu!
5 Tips To Fend Off The Flu
It’s all about energy! A healthy body knows exactly how to distribute its available energy over daily activities, bodily systems and organs. When the body has to deal with invaders such as viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, the immune system is activated. After all, it’s main task is to protect you!
But an activated immune system is also expensive and costs a lot of energy. So keeping up our energy levels is a must if we want to help our immune system fight of viruses and bacteria.
1. SLEEP MORE
Skip your Netflix, stop the Insta-scrolls and hit the sack a little earlier. I put my electronics on flight mode to contain myself ;)
I recommend to sleep at least 8 hours every night. This helps the body pass through every resting stage.
The better we sleep, the better our bodies are equipped to fight off infections!
Researchers recently found how that works (1). Insufficient sleep disrupts the ‘memory’ of our immune system. Consequently, our immune system fails to ‘remember’ earlier encounters with for instance a stomach flu virus. This way the flu virus gets the chance to fool our guards again and sneaks right through the front door!
More sleep comes with positive side effects too: clearer skin, more energy and a focused mind.
2. FACILITATE LACTOFERRIN PRODUCTION
Lactoferrin is an anti-inflammatory protein and an important actor in our immune system. It inhibits invading viruses but also activates other enzymes that clean up viruses and bacteria.
Lactoferrin is found in breast milk, but you can re-create this brilliant immune modulator yourself as well! When we activate our muscles (a.k.a. exercise) on a sober stomach, we start to produce lactoferrin in our bodies.
It’s best to work out right after you wake up. Alternatively, at the end of the day before dinner.
And you don’t have to go overboard here. A 7 minute (HIIT) workout already gives your body the chance to produce this fascinating substance.
3. COLD SHOWERS
Do you absolutely loathe icecold showers? For most of us counts: the more you cringe at the thought of a cold shower, the healthier they are for you!
Why we recommend cold showers:
The best bit of showering cold? The afterparty! You’ll feel rejuvenated, awake, tight and totally NOT cold anymore. :)
4. WASH YOUR HANDS
You can pick up germs just about anywhere. Viruses can linger on objects and surfaces, such as ATMs, coins, shopping carts, doorknobs, staircase handrails and elevator buttons up to 48 hours.
This is mostly because these places are never cleaned. But you can!
Wash your hands when you come home. I don’t recommend using an antibacterial soap though, because it adversely affects the natural immune barrier in your hands.
5. MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVEL
The production of stress-hormones over a longer period of time (such as cortisol in the chronically stressed) weaken the immune system. And will make you more prone to infections.
Studies show that stressed people are 2 times more susceptible for a flu virus.
De-stressing is an effective method to boost your immune system. When you aren’t already using a stress coping technique such as yoga, meditation or breathing yet, now is the time to start implementing them in your weekly routine!
I hope that these tips will keep you on your A-game! And if not, then please take the time to rest and recover with a lot of pampering by sweet friends, loved ones and family members.
What is your favourite way to fend off the flu? How do you cope with stress? Please let us know how you go with these tips in daily life.
We’d also love to hear your feedback + any of your burning health questions in the comments!
(1) Westermann et al. (2015). System Consolidation during Sleep–A Common Principle Underlying Psychological and Immunological Memory Formation. Trends in Neurosciences. Retrieved January 18, 2016. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166223615001745
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