This post is sponsored by Rainbow Light® but all opinions are my own.
It’s that time of year again. School has started..and so have the germs. The weather is getting icky and people are crowding together indoors to stay warm which leads to the inevitable sharing of illness. Everywhere we turn someone has a cold or the flu. Being sick is no fun. It’s downright miserable! There are several ridiculously easy steps you can take to prevent catching those pesky little viruses, however. Teach your kids to follow these steps (and follow them yourself!) and enjoy good health over the winter months.
Wash Your Hands
Did you know there’s a correct way to wash your hands? There is! After wetting your hands, use soap. (Sounds obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many women I’ve seen rinse their hands with water only in public restrooms.) Plain soap is fine, there’s no need for anti-bacterial soap. As a matter of fact, most anti-bacterial soaps contain triclosan which is not good for you for many reasons. That’s another blog post, though. 😉 Rub your hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget to scrub between your fingers and under your fingernails. Dry your hands thoroughly and if possible use your elbow or arm to turn off the water and open the door.
Cover Your Coughs (and Sneezes)
What does that have to do with cold and flu viruses? Well, when an infected person coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth, the droplets go flying through the air and are inhaled by people nearby. Gross. You know what’s really gross? Coughing can spread droplets up to 20 feet while sneezing can spread them up to 26 feet. As if that isn’t bad enough, the droplets can linger in the air for up to 10 minutes. Please, for the love of all that is holy, cover your mouth! The best thing to use is a disposable tissue if you have one handy. If not, cough/sneeze into the crook of your arm. Don’t cough into your hand unless you plan on washing them immediately (always a good idea!), otherwise you’ll be spreading germs every time you touch something. It’s also nice to turn away from people when you cough or sneeze because really, who wants any of that aimed in their direction?!
Get Adequate Sleep
Oh, how I struggle with this. And oh, how my kids try to fight this one! We’re a house full of night owls but getting adequate amounts of quality sleep is important for your immune system. Studies have actually shown that those who don’t are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses such as the common cold virus. While we sleep our bodies produce infection fighting antibodies and cytokines which are necessary when we have infection of inflammation. How much sleep is enough? General guidelines recommend seven to eight hours for adults, nine to 10 hours for teenagers, and school age children may need 10 or more hours a night.
More Produce, Less Sugar
There’s so much to say about this but I’ll keep it short and sweet. Sugar is a killer. Sure, it tastes good, but it’s highly addictive and it decreases our immune system. It’s estimated that a blood sugar level of 120 reduces your immune system by up to 75%! Instead, we need to fill up on colorful fruits and veggies. They’re chock full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that boost our immune system. Mushrooms contain B vitamins, garlic has an antioxidant called allicin, red bell peppers are super high in vitamin C, and almonds are a good source of vitamin E. To get everything you need, be sure to eat a rainbow! Speaking of rainbows…
Take Your Vitamins!
No one’s perfect and no diet is perfect. There are times when we’re unable to eat the variety of healthy foods we need. That’s where vitamin supplements come in. Daily multivitamins are an affordable way to enhance many aspects of immune function, including supporting our nutrient deficiencies. A quality multivitamin can fill in what you’re missing and an added boost of vitamins C and D3 may be just the thing you need to support your immune system.
I’m very picky about the vitamins my family takes. They have to meet specific criteria. My favorite brand for the whole family is Rainbow Light because they are:
- Gluten-free vitamins and gummies
- Non GMO (Women’s One, Men’s One)
- Soy free (Vitamin D)
- No eggs, milk, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, or shellfish
- Free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives
When I say “whole family,” I do mean the entire family! Rainbow Light has vitamins and gummies for the youngest to the oldest. My husband and I take the Women’s One and Men’s One. It doesn’t get easier than taking one pill a day. (I took the Prenatal One throughout all three of my pregnancies!) My teenager takes the Active Health Teen Multivitamin. Those of you with teenagers know how tough it can be to get them to cooperate sometimes. My requests are occasionally answered with “I will later,” but taking a multivitamin was easily incorporated into his morning routine. He now gets his vitamin and takes it after he finishes breakfast every day, all on his own. My pre-teen loves, loves, loves the Sunny Gummies Vitamin D3 and the Gummy Vitamin C Slices. I can’t say I blame her, though…they’re quite tasty! She knows that the added vitamins boost her immune system and help protect her during cold and flu season.
Nobody wants a cold or the flu. Nobody wants to feel miserable. Thankfully we can all follow these super simple tips to promote wellness and lessen the chance of spreading sickness. What are you doing to stay healthy this winter?