As colder temperatures begin to settle, cold and flu season is lurking right behind. With over 8 million people living in New York City, catching a virus or infection can happen easily. Here are some preventative tips to avoid getting a cold or the flu this winter!
1. Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize!
An easy way to decrease your chances of catching a cold or the flu is to keep a small hand sanitizer in your bag. Sanitize your hands on the subway, at school, before and after eating, and after dance class. This will help kill germs you’ve come in contact with throughout the day. It’s also a great idea to disinfect your phone with an antibacterial wipe at the end of each day. As a bonus, wiping down your phone can also help prevent acne!
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation decreases your body’s production of infection-fighting proteins and antibodies. This means you are more likely to catch a cold or the flu when you lack a full night’s sleep. Plus, if you do get sick, it is important to get plenty of sleep to give your body time to recover and heal.
3. Stay Active
Congrats dancers! By constantly being active, you have already boosted your immune system to fight off illnesses. Exercise gets the blood flow going, improves lung health, and detoxifies the body; all things that help you stay healthy! With just a moderate amount of exercise, such as dancing, jogging, or biking 2-3 times a week, you are 25 percent less likely to catch a common cold.
4. Eat Plenty of Protein
Another easy way you can boost your immune system is by eating protein-enriched foods. Consuming lean protein sources, such as boneless chicken breast, fish, nuts, and beans, allows your body to make more white blood cells to fight off bacteria and viruses.
5. Dress Warm
It is extremely important to keep your body warm, especially the top of your head, chest, and feet, as the temperature drops. Once you experience chills or shivers, you may have already exposed these areas to the cold – which could lead to sickness. Be prepared by stocking your dance bag with a scarf, hat, sweater or warm socks. These extra layers are easy to put on or off as the temperatures fluctuate during the fall months.