As masks come off and social restrictions loosen, it's not surprising that the common cold and other viruses have returned. Sinus infections, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which dipped to record lows during the pandemic, are flourishing and at levels higher than would typically be expected for this time of year.
Everyone is at risk - children and adults, alike.
But, don't despair. There are precautions you and your family can take to fight these colds and viruses and help make the return back to "normal" as healthy as possible.
- ALWAYS Wash Your Hands! Washing your hands can be one of the easiest yet most important ways to clean off any germs that may cause infections such as the flu or common cold. In fact, according to the CDC, 80 percent of common infections are spread by hand. Hand hygiene should be performed as regularly as possible throughout the day, specifically before and after specific daily tasks or occurrences, such as:
- After coughing or blowing your nose
- Before and after making or eating food
- After using the restroom
- After using your laptop, keyboard, cell phone, etc. (and make sure to clean these devices frequently!)
- After traveling or driving
- After touching animals
- After dealing with garbage
- Before and after treating a cut or a wound
- Before and after caring for someone who is ill
If washing your hands is not an option, second best is an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can kill most types of germs found on your hands and can effectively keep you safe from any harmful bacteria throughout the day.
- Stay Hydrated. Hydration is so important for a healthy immune system. In fact, our immune system relies on the nutrients in our blood stream which is made mostly of water. If we don't have enough water, we can't properly transport nutrients to our organs. There are many benefits to drinking water - it helps flush out toxins, detoxify pathways, increase lymphatic draining. On the flip side, dehydration causes a host of issues including muscle tension, headaches, low serotonin production and digestive issues - so drink up!
- Go with Your Gut. A strong digestive system plays an integral role in immune health. In fact, about 70 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut, so making sure it's in tip-top shape is always important. Incorporating probiotics and prebiotic rich foods, exercising, reducing stress and sleep all impact gut health. Taking a daily probiotic, such as delPRO, will promote beneficial gut flora. And because it's infused with the metabiotic, del-IMMUNE V, and the prebiotic, inulin, it will improve immune health and balance the gut and mood.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables will help to strengthen your immune system. And, now, is the perfect time to incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. Consider starting your day with an immune-supporting green smoothie chocked full of fiber-rich greens (like kale and spinach), vitamin C and folate. Look for ways to incorporate more probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut, and prebiotic-rich foods, that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, including asparagus and garlic.
- Rest Up. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more prone to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep can also impact how quickly you recover if you do get sick. Adults require seven to eight hours of sleep per night; teenagers (13-18 years old) need eight to 10 hours and school-aged children (6-12 years old) require nine to 11 hours of sleep. As such, it only makes sense to prioritize your sleep and look for opportunities to build more rest into your day. Whether it's a short nap or settling in a little earlier each evening (don't forget to power down at least 30 minutes in advance of bedtime), a good night's sleep will make all the difference.
- Keep Your Immune System Balanced. There’s a lot of discussion around boosting your immune system, but the focus should really be on immune modulation, according to Dr. Liubov Sichel, and making your immune health a priority every day. A balanced immune system provides optimal effectiveness and well-being. del-IMMUNE V duplicates the natural immune action that occurs in the intestine, which is the core of human immune activity. It turns on when needed and off when not, which is exactly the type of protection necessary now.