Winter Health: Natural Ways to Fight Illness

It seems that in Winter people are particularly susceptible to illness. I often wonder if cold weather itself brings on sickness or if it is our practices during the colder season. Last winter sickness was rampant in our household. My daughter and husband visited the doctor on so many occasions that I have lost count. However, this year we have all been pretty healthy minus a minor cold here and there. Since I revised my diet and exercise I have not seen a doctor due to sickness for almost a year (*fingers crossed*). I attribute our improvement in health to a number of things. Listed below are 5 “healthy habits” that I have found to be beneficial all year around.

Humidifiers. We have two humidifiers in our home and may get a third one for the living room. Warm air humidifiers help to keep the air moist and the nasal passages clear. They have worked wonders for my daughter’s runny/stuffy nose (pretty much eliminated it). Cold air humidifiers are good for coughs, but since it is winter these may not be the most desirable option.

Saline Solution. Did you know that you can make your own saline solution? Yes! All saline is is purified water and salt. For throat aches, try gurgling warm to hot water (about a cup) and sea salt (about a teaspoon) a few times a day. The hotter the water the better. You can also put this solution into a nasal spray bottle and use it for a stuffy or dry nose.

HEAT. In the winter, what’s better than heat? Uh, nothing. Warm baths, saunas, spas, and warm-hot towels are similar to a warm humidifier. These things can loosen up the sinuses and relieve headaches and sinus pressure. Unlike a humidifier, warm baths, spas, and saunas can make you sweat. Don’t forget exercise! Not only does exercising produce sweat, it also stimulates your brain and nervous system. Sweating has been shown to relinquish sickness, clear skin, and lower body temperature. “It’s getting hot in here…” sorry.

Sleep. This is something that most of us don’t get enough of whether it’s due to work obligations or difficulty sleeping. Sleep is sooooo important. Rest makes us happier and healthier people. We are also more mentally keen when we are fully rested. Good sleep should be made a priority for optimum health.

Vitamins and Nutrients. All foods have vitamins and nutrients, but some have much more than others. As you know, I am an advocate for juicing. Fresh juice provide bundles of vitamins and nutrients directly into the bloodstream. Drinking fresh juice promotes weight loss, can boost energy, can fight restlessness, disease, etc. etc. The stuff is GOOD for you. If you are not into juicing, multivitamins may be a good idea if you are prone to illness in the winter. Of course fruits and vegetables should make frequent appearances on your plates as well to keep the body strong and healthy.

I hope that these tips help someone as they have helped me and my family.
Best winter health to you!

~Evelyn
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