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Use These Tips To Fight Off Fall Illnesses

Use These Tips To Fight Off Fall Illnesses

The heat of summer is giving way to the cool breezes of fall, and there are many things you can expect to blow in with the changing season. While you may be looking forward to pumpkin spice everything, tailgating, and cozy sweaters, you may also be facing the common cold, the flu, strep throat, or worse. Illness is very common during the fall, and the slightest throat tickle or runny nose can lay your weekend plans to waste. Though immunizations against things like the flu can help you stay healthy, there are things you can do on your own to optimize your immunity for this fall.

Drink Lots of Water and Fluids

If you want to help flush bacteria and other toxins out of your body more quickly, drinking plenty of fluids will help. It is important to carefully choose your fluids. Many will turn to fruit juices thinking it will boost their vitamin C levels, but packaged juices are often high in sugars. Excess sugar feeds bacteria and weakens your immune system. If possible, drink at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water each day. You can also use non-caffeinated teas to both warm your body and hydrate it.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Everyone tends to try for extra sleep when they are feeling poorly, but you need to get your sleeping pattern regulated long before you have your first sniffle. The immune system will release cytokines while you sleep, and these proteins carry infection-fighting properties. When you reduce the amount of sleep you get, either by stress, insomnia, or poor habits, you reduce the number of antibodies produced to fight against infection. One of the benefits of sermorelin is sleep regulation and deeper sleep patterns, making this another immune-boosting option for your fall health routine.

Change Your Toothbrush

This might seem to be random inclusion, but if it's been a while since you've changed out your toothbrush, your oral hygiene might not be up to par. Your mouth is a key entry point for germs and bacteria, and poor brushing can leave harmful germs lurking around the mouth. These have direct entry to the lungs and digestive tract. If you have a new toothbrush, be sure to take care of it during cold and flu season. Keep your toothbrush away from any others that may be stored in the bathroom, as viruses can spread through this contact. You should also rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with hot water to clean off any bacteria or germs that have been pulled from your mouth.

Exercise Often

Research shows the exercising regularly can help prevent damaging chronic conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease, but it can also help you with immunity. Blood circulation increases as you exercise, and as cells and substances of the immune system get pumped through the body, they are able to do their job more efficiently.

Stay Warm

The body likes a nice warm temperature to stay functioning, and during cold weather, it is more likely that the body will experience extreme drops in temperature. When the hands or feet get cold, it limits how the supply of blood cells to areas around the body that are fighting infection. Cold temperatures also help viruses and bacteria survive for longer periods of time. Exposure to cold air can as well as certain illnesses can increase mucous secretions, which can further increase a person’s risk of infection. Don’t be afraid to throw on a hat or sweater this fall, as it is doing your immune system a favor.

Watch Your Diet

The fall season brings out the comfort foods, like chili, soup, and veggie bread. To boost your immunity and create a wider selection of comfort foods, start cooking with some of the foods that are known to help your health. Almonds, garlic, citrus fruit, onions, ginger, mushrooms, fish, and carrots all have immune-boosting properties. To make the most of the impact these foods can have, weed out immune-suppressing items like soda, sugary treats, fried foods, and alcohol. Many of these contain high levels of sugar, which attacks the cells that try to fight off bacteria.

Lower Your Stress

Sitting near a crackling fire with a pumpkin latte can make the toughest problems seem a little less foreboding, and it is moments like these that can help optimize your immunity this fall. Stress sabotages your immune system, draining your ability to remain healthy and strong. Whether it is chronic stress from a job or family situation, or it is the morning commute in darkness, find ways to take care of yourself this fall. Medication, exercise, a good book, or a walk through the foliage can help get your mind off your stressors and help your body relax.

If you have been looking forward to the fall since last year, you don’t have long to wait. The leaves are starting to turn and you can find mums and pumpkins all across the community. Don’t let a cold or the flu damper your party plans. Use these tips to boost your immunity.

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About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

8 min read