Here are some of my favorite immune-boosting tips that are helpful year-round, but especially during this cold and flu season. I added some notes based on our current situation with COVID-19.
- Don’t smoke. It can exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms and increase your risk of getting seriously sick.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables (especially those high in Vitamin A and C- typically the red and orange colored ones). The nutrient content of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables is comparable to fresh, and in some case, it might be higher than fresh.
- Supplement with additional Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Zinc, especially during cold and flu season. Get 10% off of high-quality supplements using my online dispensary link.
- Stay hydrated. General recommendations are to consume half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces. Ex: 150-pound person should drink about 75 ounces of water per day (about 9 cups). You can incorporate warm drinks like hot water with lemon, or herbal tea as part of your water intake.
- Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 20 minutes per day for adults, and 60 minutes per day for children 6-17 years old. Children 3-5 years old should have plenty of opportunities to be active throughout the day. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or find free online exercise apps or videos on YouTube that you can do in your home. Here are some free fitness apps. If you want some free activities for your kids, check out Go Noodle.
- Maintain a healthy weight. In times like these, most of us tend to snack more throughout the day. Try replacing some of your packaged and processed snacks with nuts, fruits, and vegetables with dips such as guacamole, hummus, or nut butter.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. It might be tempting to drink more now that most of us are staying home, but try these drinks instead: sparkling water, soda water or plain water with a splash of juice or sliced fruit (lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, or blueberries) or vegetables and herbs (cucumbers, mint, or basil).
- Get adequate sleep. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule for you and your family as much as possible. The most nourishing hours of sleep are between 10 pm-2 am so aim to have those hours as part of your 8-10 hours of sleep.
- Practice stress management (Try not to watch too much news!). Stress management looks different for everyone (reading, meditation, yoga, exercise, stretching, breathing exercises, warm bath). You can check out free mindfulness apps like Headspace or Calm help to get you started.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently, and cleaning surfaces in your home. Adhere to social distancing, and “safer at home” recommendations.
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