7 Natural Ways to Prepare Your Body for Cold/Flu Season

It’s here again: cold and flu season. No need to begrudgingly slather yourself in antibacterial goop and set out the welcome mat for the viral onslaught. Rather than just tackling the cold or flu when it hits, why not make preemptive action a part of your lifestyle? Here are some habits to incorporate into your life to help you stay strong and healthy, even through the worst of cold and flu season:

Get some reasonable exercise

Find your Goldilocks zone for exercise: not too much, not too little, just the right amount. Overexerting yourself can actually weaken your immune system, since it actually raises stress hormones in the body. You can see this in endurance racers quite often. So perhaps this is the season for a more moderate fitness approach. But, not exercising isn’t good either. Movement helps to circulate the lymph in your body, which contains trapped toxins and invaders that need to be evacuated. Breathing due to physical activity also improves cardiovascular strength. But studies have also shown that as little as 20 minutes of cardio exercise can actually act as an anti-inflammatory to your body that boost immune function. Find out what exercise makes you feel at your peak, and practice moderately throughout the season.

Walk outside in nature

Nature is incredible. If you can get out into a park once or twice a week for a quiet walk, you will do your body and mind some real good. There is plenty of evidence to confirm that spending mindful time in nature drastically improves immunity and reduces stress. Even if you aren’t “an outdoorsy person,” find a way to get yourself outside once in a while. It is innately human and will do a lot of good for your health.

Integrate immune-boosting foods into your diet

Eat lots of seasonal produce. Autumn squash, sweet potatoes and carrots provide lots of vitamin A, which has been shown to strongly support immunity. And don’t forget about medicinal mushrooms, seeds, tea or greens either. Check out this Care2 favorite for more immune boosting noms.

Sleep!

If you haven’t been sleeping well, you do not have a fighting chance when a nasty virus comes your way. Sleep is the time when the body gets to clean house, reassess and reinforce what seems to be lagging. When you don’t get sleep, your body simply won’t be able to keep up with its preventative health measures. Stop skimping on sleep and embrace nap time when you need to. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try these natural remedies to improve your bedtime.

Stay hydrated

As the months get cooler and the air gets drier, it is important to continue to drink plenty of water and hydrating liquids. Load up on herbal teas. Keep a full canteen always by your side. The body is around 60 percent water. When you get dehydrated, things stop functioning well (including your immune system).

Stay social

Don’t just lock yourself up during flu season. Getting out and about can really help strengthen your immunity. How? Generally, when you go out to have fun with friends or family, you are reducing stress levels (hopefully!). Relaxing, laughing and shutting down the stress in your body allows your immune system to function at its highest potential. So, instead of staying at home and away from all the germs, go out for some wine or a trivia night with good company. It will improve your mental health, which is great for your immune health, too.

Take a quality immune booster

Rather than just throwing a Hail Mary by chugging orange juice and Emergen-C when you get the sniffles, act proactively. Take supplemental vitamins, especially A and D. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on 18 different bottles of vitamins, one of my favorite immune-boosting supplement blends is Dr. Schnuffie’s Stay Well. This high-potency daily immune support supplement combines all the essential immune boosters: vitamins A, C, D, E and K, zinc and more. It was formulated by a physician and is backed by loads of science, but has none of the sugar or artificial colorings found in most mainstream immune boosters. If you tend to get a lot of colds, a high-potency supplement may be just what the doctor ordered.

How do you prepare for cold and flu season? Do you have any natural techniques you swear by? Share them with the community below!  

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189 comments

Kelsey S
Kelsey S8 days ago

Thanks

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Louise A
Louise A9 days ago

Thanks for the advice.

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Carol S
Carol S10 days ago

Thanks, good ideas for year round! However at over 65 I now get a flu shot also.

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Marion M
Marion Morin11 days ago

merci!

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Carole R
Carole R12 days ago

Very good ideas. I would add, get a flu shot. I never got one and did quite well ...until I didn't. The flu was absolutely awful. I now get a flu shot every year and have been ok.

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Jennifer G
Jennifer G12 days ago

As a professional singer who literally can't afford to get sick, in addition to many of these things, I also swear by a Neti Pot during allergy and flu season. It prevents letting anything that has taken up residence overnight stay in your system and become a breeding ground. I haven't gotten the flu in well over a decade!

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Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D12 days ago

I'm a Home Health Aide. I don't get a flu shot and I have not had the flu in about 25 years. I very strongly follow all of the above, especially numbers 2, 3, and 4. I also keep a very positive attitude - think happy and healthy, stay happy and healthy.

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Sheila Miller
Sheila Miller12 days ago

I get a flu shot every year to help prevent the flu. I do avoid people who are sick and wash my hands a lot. Eat the proper foods to keep your immune system strong.

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Sue M
Sue M12 days ago

All things to do all year round really - thank you

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Sue L
Sue L12 days ago

Wash your hands as soon as you walk in the door. Do not touch your face! This really helps me.

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