Winter is here! While we love sipping hot cocoa by a crackling fire, we strongly dislike that along with cozy vibes, the chilly weather also ushers in cold and flu season. Fear not! We spoke with a top doctor and wellness expert to get tips that will take the guesswork out of how you can stay healthy during these months.
First, some good news. Because of the measures we’ve been taking to minimize the spread of Covid-19, doctors are seeing less instances of general illness. “Flu cases, in particular, are much lower than they have been in recent years at this point in the season, in part due to our efforts around social distancing, mask wearing, frequent hand washing and avoiding large gatherings,” says Dr. Holly Phillips, Board Certified General Internist. The moral of the story? Keep wearing a mask whenever you’re in public. Finding one that’s both comfortable and cute can help motivate you to avoid leaving home without one. Check out the medical grade disposable face masks in chic patterns like tie-dye and floral print by Barriere.
Of course, hand hygiene is key. “Soap and water is best, but hand sanitizer is a handy alternative when soap and water isn’t available,” Dr. Phillips advises. When you’re on the go, try a hand sanitizer that’s made from at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. (A great option: Life To Go’s Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera.)
And apply it generously! With hand sanitizer, “it should be enough to cover your palms, fingers and the bottom of your wrists,” cautions Dr. Phillips. Her quick tip for best results: “I recommend focusing on the tips of fingers in particular, as they’re very likely to come into contact with germs — think credit card keypads, elevator buttons, doorknobs, etc.”
When using lots of hand sanitizer, “don’t forget to follow up with a good, toxin-free hand moisturizer,” says wellness expert Naomi Whittel. A great formula to try: Necessaire’s Hand Cream.
But maintaining good health isn’t just on the surface. “Getting enough nutrients is critical to maintaining a healthy immune system,” says Dr. Phillips. Give your diet a healthy boost with zinc, which can be found in chickpeas, yogurt and oysters, antioxidant Vitamin E found in nuts and green veggies like spinach and kale, Vitamin B6, plentiful in tuna, chicken and beans, and of course, Vitamin C, which Dr. Phillips says is a “critical immune system nutrient that needs to be replenished daily because the body doesn’t store it.” It’s found in citrus fruits, cantaloupe, strawberries and broccoli.
Another way to boost your nutrient intake is through supplements. Powdered vitamin mixes are a great option because they are mixed with water, which helps boost overall hydration. “Dehydration can put extra stress on the immune system, so staying hydrated also helps you stay healthy,” Dr. Phillips explains. A current favorite is Life To Go’s Immunity + Vitamin Drink Mix, containing zinc, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, a whopping 1,000 mg of Vitamin C plus 100 mg of elderberry. The gluten-free, vegan blend comes in the yummiest pink lemonade flavor!
Now just in case you’ve taken every measure to prevent getting sick but you happen to catch a cold, you can hide the effects in seconds! Conceal redness around the nose and mouth and your eyes with a concealer stick. Jones Road Beauty just launched The Face Pencil in 25 shades and the creamy formula glides on, blends seamlessly and stays put!
Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDC, WHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.