Monday, December 10, 2012

Preventing Illness This Winter

Its the season for getting sick... A part from the normal concerns of the holiday season, we have the additional concerns of catching a cold or the flu this time of year.  Apparently, this years strain of flu is especially bad.  Specifically, the flu virus is H3N2 and has increased the number of hospitalizations for the flu compared to normal flu seasons.  The thing I always want to know this time of year is how I can prevent myself from getting sick.  There are a number of things that can be done to help prevent illness.  Of course we always hear to get vaccinated and to wash your hands.  But in addition to that, studies have shown reducing stress, meditation, getting enough sleep, exercising, drinking lots of fluids, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting sugar intake all help strengthen your immunity.  Unfortunately, this may be the worst time of year for getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and limiting sugar intake.  So I guess we'll all have to do our best.  Other interesting things I found were that the ideal house temperature for reducing illness is 68 to 72 degrees with about 50% humidity.  Viruses can survive longer inside with the lower indoor humidity this time of year, so having a humidifier is beneficial to your health.  There is also a lot of various information out there on how much exercise is ideal for boosting immunity.  From what I have read and sort of averaging a bunch of reports and research together, exercising thirty to sixty minutes, three to five times a week boosts the immunity the most. 

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