Seasonal lessons with Jean-Yves DionneMarch, 2019
Spring doesn’t put viruses to sleep! Yes, the lack of sunlight, cold weather, closed windows and family gatherings are all associated with the infamous winter colds. While, between December and February is the worst influenza time, and sticks around longer than we want, the end of winter doesn’t exactly mean our problems are all gone.
During 1982-2018, flu activity peeked in March in 6 seasons (16.7%). The sun is more present, and we dress down and go out and… bam, a late blooming cold front shows up! Or worse, we come back from a much-needed vacation in the sun during February or March only to return to an unexpected guest – the dead of winter!
Here are a few tricks to keep up your sleeve, especially during “springtime,” to avoid unwanted time-out due to a nasty, unexpected cold and flu.
Take your vitamins
Do like mother told you: Take your vitamins daily! Keep up your vitamin D all the way through May, or at least until you can have lunch on a terrace. Insufficient Vitamin D levels may lead to dysregulation of immune response.
Rest and manage your stress
We all know that cold and flu symptoms strike when we don’t have time to deal with it (do we ever have time to be sick?). We are more susceptible to viruses when our immune system is down due to stress and fatigue. So, look ahead and make sure you get the seven to eight hours of sleep your body needs. Know when to unplug and relax before your body forces you to take to your bed.
Eat colourful foods
Antioxidants are the colours in your veggies! Enjoy them aplenty to help your body fight the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
Spice it up
Spices, especially hot flavors like ginger, cinnamon, and hot peppers, can improve your defense capacity. Increase the fun and flavours of your meals. But do remember that added sugar does the opposite. Garlic, a classic of French cuisine, also helps to fight nasty bugs.
Dress up and go out
Physical activity is essential for fitness but also to prevent contagious viruses and improve your immune system. Playing outside is even better, as long as you dress warmly according to the weather. Not only do you get to enjoy the benefits, but the comfort improves the fun aspect. Physical activity + comfort + fun = you’ll want to do it more. Hence more health benefits.
Hydration. Simple water or chicken broth helps to clear your airways. Make sure you drink at least a litre of clean water every day. This way, your body makes naturally protective mucus to keep your airways clear.
Boost your immunity
Several natural products are sold for immune support, but there is only one active ingredient that is both clinically well documented and a truly Canadian invention: CVT-E002®. This ingredient has gone through several well-designed clinical trials involving hundreds of people, including seniors. Taking a natural product with CVT-E002® daily really reduces the number of colds and flus, and also lessens the intensity and duration of the cold by boosting the immune system, if you ever get one.
Finally, if someone close to you coughs, politely ask them to cough on to their elbow. In my opinion, it’s still the best way to prevent spreading the viruses.
So, with all these tips, I hope you stay bundled this spring to make sure your spring season is active, fun and healthy.
Take care of yourself.