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How To Stay Healthy, Boost The Immune System And Prevent Flu

Updated on May 8, 2012
Exercise and healthy eating are powerful weapons against germs.
Exercise and healthy eating are powerful weapons against germs. | Source

Take Care Of Your Body

Nobody likes to be sick so you want to take measures that will boost the immune system. There are easy ways to strengthen your immunity and get your own body working for you.

Proper nutrition and exercise can go a long way in keeping you healthy throughout the year. When you build up your body's defenses, it will have the ability to fight off viruses when they come striking and strengthen your immune system.

A well balanced diet rich in protein and anti-oxidants, the B vitamins and vitamin C will armor you with all the strength you need to fight off viruses, toxins and bacteria. Fresh fruits and vegetables are imperative to the diet as well as plenty of water. Also, a lot of people, like my son, are deficient in Vitamin D. Doctors recommend a daily supplement to get this important nutrient that normally comes from the sun. A deficiency in vitamin D will lower immunity and cause fatigue.

Exercise is known to reduce stress. Since stress will lower your immunity, reducing stress will also strengthen immunity. Regular exercise also helps you to sleep better at night and a good nights sleep will keep your body strong.

Fight the flu with good nutrition.
Fight the flu with good nutrition. | Source

Flu Season

With the onset on the cold and flu season, comes the need to get our bodies in tip top fighting shape. We are going to be attacked by many strains of viruses and bacteria. Just going out into any public place exposes our bodies to all sorts of afflictions.

A person sneezes and covers his mouth but then he slides his hand down a handrail the whole time he is walking down the stairs- the same one you are gripping unknowingly.

A little girl has been sick with an upset stomach but goes with her mother to the grocery store. She sits in the cart and rests her mouth on the cart handle. Later in the day, you use the same cart and unknowingly touch the same spot where the little girl has nicely left some flu germs resting.

This doesn't even account for all of the airborne germs from all of the coughing and sneezing from uncovered mouths.

Schools have to be the best place for a germ party. Kids are in close contact with each other, they don't always have the best manners for covering their mouths, and they touch everything. To make things worse, they bring as many of the little germs as they can carry home with them.

It seems like a hopeless fight. But, if we arm ourselves with the proper defenses and use a strategic plan of attack, we can fight back and be strong during the cold and flu season.

bell peppers and broccoli
bell peppers and broccoli

Natural Immune Boosters

I can't stress enough the importance of eating a healthy diet. Taking in nutrients that build up our immunity is a powerful tool against the nasty viruses.

It has been a long known fact that vitamin C helps to prevent the cold and flu. Typically, what comes to mind is citrus fruits and orange juice as a source of vitamin C. Other great sources are berries, tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli and spinach. It is better to get vitamin C naturally rather than through a supplement since it is possible to get too much through a supplement. A daily multi-vitamin is a safe way to go if you feel you can't incorporate foods rich in vitamin C.

Lean proteins also boost the immune system since the molecules that fight disease are made of protein. Chicken, fish and low fat dairy products are a good choice. Also, olive oil and nuts are some healthy fats that fight diseases.

A probiotic yogurt with L. Casei Immunitas like Danactive is a good thing to add to the diet for the cold and flu season. It works in the digestive track to boost immunities.

Eating smart with these natural immunity boosters helps your body to work as it is supposed to in fighting viruses. Filling your body with junk will make it sluggish and too tired to fight!

Eliminate Stress

Most people are overly stressed because of their jobs, school, relationships or money. Stress has a negative affect on the body which can seriously hurt the immune system. In fact, many illnesses are stress related. We need to find ways to become calm and thereby become healthy.

Exercise: Thirty minutes of exercise a day can do wonders for your mind. Yes it is good for your body too but the benefits to your psyche are just as good. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which give you a sense of calm. The physical work helps you to let out your frustrations and clears your mind.

Rest: Just as it is important to exercise the body, it is extremely important to get enough sleep. While you sleep, your body is working to repair and refresh itself. If you are sleep deprived, it will have an affect on your health. To be able to relax at night you may want to read before sleeping instead of watching television. Try not to do any work at least an hour before bedtime, give your mind a chance to relax. Take a warm bath before bed to calm you. Don't eat a large meal close to bedtime as this will probably wake you up with indigestion.

Time For Yourself: Take time out for some solitude. Having time to think, do Bible study, spend time outdoors, or write down thoughts in a journal - all help to calm the soul.

Wash Hands

Wash hands, wash hand, wash hands!! Every time you touch a public handrail, door knob, grocery cart, etc..., be prepared with hand sanitizer or wash your hands. Grocery stores usually supply sanitized wipes at the entrances to wipe off carts. You can get pocket size hand sanitizers to keep in your pockets, purses, cars, or anywhere it is convenient to stash one.

Kids are probably the number one carriers of germs.  In school, they are touching everything and probably not washing their hands as much as they should.  Then, they bring these pesky germs right into our homes.

Kill germs dead before they even get a chance to get into your homes. At home, keep doorknobs, computer keyboards, handrails, etc.. wiped down with Lysol anti-bacterial wipes. The more germs you can kill before they get into your body, the less your body has to fight.

Vaccines: The best of all defenses against the flu would of course be a vaccine. This boosts the immunity to fight that particular strain of flu. It may be a good idea in some cases such as the H1N1 strain.

The more steps that are taken to stand up and fight against the viruses, the more chances there are of success in beating them. Even a shortened sick time or less severity is a success.

Handwashing Video For Kids


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    • Song-Bird profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Hanlon 

      11 years ago from Michigan

      Your welcome Joe! Stay healthy during this flu season ;)

    • Joe Rodgers profile image

      Joe Rodgers 

      11 years ago

      Very nice hub... exercise is definitely a huge part of staying healthy and living well. Thanks for the other tips.


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