How to Outsmart the Flu This Winter

This winter, the seasonal flu has been hitting citizens across North America much harder than has been recorded in previous years. According to Time Magazine’s ‘health’ segment, the culprit is a stronger-than-usual strain of influenza in circulation. While this strain alone would be enough to cause widespread illness, it is coupled with the fact that it is hitting everyone simultaneously. The Cut Online explains that in previous flu seasons, the viruses typically spread through populations at different times which gives people a chance to recover from their initial illnesses. This year, however, widespread illness is occurring everywhere all at once. What can be done to keep you from getting knocked off your feet for the remainder of this year’s flu season? Keep reading for a few tips to add to your wellness-regime of 2018.

1.     Stock up on vitamins and supplements

Making sure your body has the required nutrients it needs to fight off illness is paramount in avoiding the seasonal flu. In addition to eating a balanced diet focusing on dark, leafy greens, vitamins and minerals to supplement your diet may be what it takes to create a barrier between you and the flu. Vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea are all supplements proven to boost immunity. Consider taking them with your breakfast or at least a few times weekly to give your immune system a head start with germ-fighting.

2.     Rest up (whenever possible)

Nutritional choices alone probably aren’t enough to keep the flu at bay for the entire winter season; ensuring your body is as rested as possible is also important for staying healthy. While getting enough sleep has endless health benefits and is a basic requirement of life, it can be hard during the never-ending cycle of midterms, finals, and various other responsibilities to carve out enough time for a regular sleep schedule. However, wellness is always more important than reading that last chapter before a test: your body can’t function at its best when it is running on empty. Getting a solid 7-8 hours nightly (as often as possible) will work wonders in keeping you alert, focused, and of course flu-free.

3.     Focus on good hygiene

While keeping a clean living space and washing your hands are both important year-round, brushing up on cleanliness around flu season will help keep as many germs out of your environment as possible. With this year’s influenza virus circulating everywhere all at once, most people you encounter are likely to pass some germs into your environment; through a handshake, a shared door handle, or-god forbid- a sip of their coffee. By focusing extra attention to hand-washing, sanitization of surfaces exposed to the public, and limited contact with sick friends/family, you just may be able to escape the flu that has everyone around you knocked out.

Colds and viruses are just one of the many joys of the winter season, but with extra focus on staying away from germs and boosting your body’s immune system, here’s hoping you can escape the flu epidemic of 2017-2018.