If you think that you seem to get sick when the weather fluctuates each spring, it’s not your imagination playing tricks on you. When temperatures rise and drop sporadically throughout the season, it can lead to blocked sinuses, unwelcome colds, and sometimes even the dreaded flu. (Not to mention all the sick people hacking up a lung and insisting they’re “totally fine…it’s just allergies!”)
While you know that it’s important to wash your hands, get plenty of sleep, and drink fluids, what if you could avoid getting sick altogether?
If you are ready for year-round health, follow these safe, easy, all-natural ways to safeguard yourself from the common funk.
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1. Say Argggh
Experts claim that gargling water for just 30 seconds can actually prevent upper-respiratory infections. The act of gargling water stimulates your immune system and tricks your body into thinking it’s getting ready to fight invaders. Swish water for 30 seconds and spit. Repeat at the onset of symptoms or first thing in the morning as a daily preventative.
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2. Try Oil Pulling
You’ve probably heard about the craze of swishing oil in your mouth to whiten teeth, detox, fend off germs, cure headaches, asthma, and even diabetes. Choose a spoonful of oil, such as coconut, sesame, or sunflower, and swish for up to 30 minutes per day, gargling before you spit. If swishing warm, gooey oil for half an hour just isn’t your thing, studies have shown that eating one tablespoon of coconut oil every day, which carries numerous medicinal properties, can keep the flu at bay. (You can also mix it into smoothies, sauces, or cook with it, too.)
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3. Take a Swig
Apple cider vinegar’s medicinal benefits are nothing new. Its antibacterial properties have been used to cure yeast infections, slash sore throats, boost immunity, clear up skin, boost weight loss, and keep the doctor at bay. Aim to take one tablespoon a day in water. Can’t stomach the sour taste? Swap out apple cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar when making your own salad dressing.
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4. Bug Out with Probiotics
While probiotics aren’t new, they are definitely helpful since 70% of your immunity is in your gut. Instead of popping your morning probiotic, aim to take it first thing in the morning or right before you go to sleep, and look for other helpful probiotic foods to add to your daily diet, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, or water kefir. But nix the dairy, as it can lead to congestion.
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5. Sweat out what ails you
Fact: By increasing your body temperature, many viruses cannot survive. So, if you get sweaty, many of those pesky critters will take a hike. While you’ve read the do’s and don’ts of working out while sick, aim to get regular, daily exercise to avoid the common cold. If you’re already feeling a little funky, but you don’t have a fever and your symptoms are mainly head-, nose-, or throat-related, go ahead and get in a little sweat session to help boost immunity. Just beware of these gym germs.
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6. Just the Essentials
If you’re not on the essential oils train, get there fast. Essential oils have been around for ages, and with a quick swipe to the bottoms of your feet, you can keep your immunity revved. Look for all-in-one roll-on blends from reputable brands, or aim for singular oils, like Thieves (which is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary), oregano, Frankincense, thyme, or lavender.
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7. Wipe away as many germs as possible
While you might shy away from public toilets and germy surfaces and pump hand sanitizer like it’s your job, chances are the germiest thing you own is your phone. In a recent study, bacteria was found on 90% of people’s phones. Among that bacteria? Feces! Need we say more? Keep antibacterial wipes handy and swab down your phone for ongoing preventative care.