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Cold and flu season is at it’s peak and predicted to stick around for the next few months. Following these eight tips can help keep you sniffle and cough free, right through spring. But, you need to take action immediately because cold and flu viruses reproduce faster than data overage charges on your cell phone plan.

1. Wash Your Hands. Your mother was right. Nuf said.

2. Drink Water. You are already running it to wash your hands any way. Water thins mucus, cools the body, flushes toxins, and keeps nasal passages moist so they can fight invading bacteria.

3. Go to Sleep. Sleep is your body’s secret weapon for good health. You need the right amount for your body; 6-8 hours nightly works for most people. Optimum sleep recovery time is between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. So go to bed already why don’t ya?

4. Exercise. Make it fun and get your heart rate up for twenty minutes each day to help eliminate toxins from your body.

5. Get Outside. The sun converts your body’s cholesterol into vitamin D, which plays a role in supporting a healthy immune system. Low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with an increase in upper respiratory illnesses. So put down that remote control and get outside.

6. Cut the CRAP (carbohydrates, refined sugars, alcohol, and processed foods). With approximately 80% of your immune system in your gut, what you eat really matters. Instead, eat nutrient-dense real foods like leafy greens and colorful root vegetables, wild caught fish, grass-fed meats and bone broth. Also try to eat some high quality probiotics and fermented foods every day.

7. Open a Window–or two. I know, it’s cold outside and your furnace is running. Windows need only to be opened for just a few minutes and just a tiny bit to get moisture and fresh clean air circulating which can reduce the viruses in your home.

8. Be smart. Know the difference between cold and flu symptoms. Know when it is time to see your doctor.

There is no cure for the common cold and new strains of flu viruses occur faster than your can say “achoo.” It isn’t very practical to lock yourself in your home til spring. And, it is nearly impossible to stay completely clear of the snot trails your runny nosed, red eyed loved ones leave behind. However, you can practice these eight simple steps to have a happy and healthy winter.

Be well!