Have you ever wondered why cold, flu, and gastrointestinal viruses thrive in the winter months? As the days get shorter we spend more time indoors, this puts us in closer contact with each other and our respective germs. Three to six feet is considered the “spreading zone” where airborne viruses can be picked up and spread. Additionally, the colder weather extends the time viruses remain suspended in the air. This is because the cold dry air allows for the moisture droplets to evaporate quickly, leaving the lightweight pathogen floating in the air waiting for us to run into them.
We also experience changes to our respiratory systems during the change in season. Cold air leads to the constriction of our airways, which increases our susceptibility to certain viruses, specifically the flu. Additionally, we are less likely to exercise in the cold, which reduces our pulmonary and cardiovascular function.
This increased vulnerability, plus the holiday season, which leaves us kissing and hugging our friends and neighbors, allows these pathogens to take a superhighway into our sinuses. So how do we keep ourselves happy and healthy this cold and flu season?
- First and foremost, hygiene is key. Wash and sanitize your hands as much as possible. Here at STANDwellness, we love the EO Natural Hand Sanitizer($2-$5) because it is 99.9% effective in removing cold and flu viruses and does not disrupt the microbial balance on our skin. You can stick in in your purse and give yourself a squirt after every encounter.
- Next, be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables to maintain antioxidant levels and a healthy microbiome. For extra support I add the Premier Research Labs green powder($35) to my morning smoothies or drop an 8 Greenstablet ($14) into my water bottle.
- Furthermore, because 70% of our immune system is housed in our gut, I use the Therbioticprobiotic supplements ($44) to keep my beneficial flora thriving.
- Lastly, I love the doTERRA OnGuard essential oil($42.67) and Sovereign Silver ($59) immune support to ward off any cold I feel coming on.
These products make great gifts- especially for teachers who are around runny noses all day long.
Overall, remember to keep yourself well hydrated and nourished during this cold and flu season, get plenty of restful sleep and avoid those who are sick. Stop by our Water Mill office to stock up on all you need to keep your immune system strong this winter!