What does a scarf, a raspberry and a deep breath have in common?

All are surprisingly simple ways to help you stay well this winter during cold and flu season!

Start today:

Wear a SCARF

What do you get when you combine the wisdom of Eastern medicine with the fashion of Europe? A perfect immunity booster: the scarf.

Chinese medicine believes in protecting the neck from ‘evil winds’ a.k.a., the cold blustery temperatures. And in acupuncture, lung transporting points are located at the back base of the neck, which help support that belief.

Glands located in the neck, such as the thyroid, commonly associated with energy, actually help stimulate various immune-activating functions.

Since the first sign of a cold is often stiffness and aches in the neck and shoulders, it just makes sense to ‘tie one on’!

Add to that the current research from Yale finds that viruses actually do flourish better at cooler temps rather than the body’s basic core temperature.

According to Smithsonian.com, “The most common cause for colds, rhinoviruses, are better able to enter through the nose and reproduce at temperatures just below the body’s 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The neck scarf, able to do quadruple duty covering the neck, ears, nose and even the top of the head, would help you stay well this winter and make mom very happy. She always encouraged us to stay warm and now research proves she was right.

What better reasons to add that pop of color and look ‘on trend’?

Caution: Never share scarves or gloves as germs can and will be shared!

Mind Your Hands

stay well this winterKeep hands away from your nose and mouth and use wipes and sanitizer often. But, do you know how to properly wash your hands?

Soap should cover all parts of the hands for at least 20 seconds or long enough to sing Happy Birthday. Learn more here.

Clean Your Smartphone

Get the details on how best to do that here.

Eat and Drink the Rainbow

Colorful fruits and vegetables are power-packed in Vitamin C and antioxidants, so go for the super-fruits and veggies in red, blue and purple to boost immunities.

Create Your Own Berry Happy Super-fruit Slush

stay well this winterBlend an array fresh organic and/or frozen blackberries, acai, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and red apple. Add coconut water to get the desired consistency.

Or, try this power-packed super-fruit smoothie.

Caution: Be aware of your own dietary food restrictions, especially sugar!

And turn up the heat. All those colorful chili peppers, such as serrano, jalapeno, and habanero, contain capsaicin and flavonoid antioxidants, contributing a myriad of health benefits which include lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Power Up

With moderate exercise, 30 minutes, 5 times a week. As research finding a direct correlation between exercise and immunity continues, some theories, according to the National Institutes of Health include:

Physical activity may help you stay well this winter by flushing bacteria out of the lungs and airways…reducing your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.

As there is a brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise, this may prevent bacteria from growing and help the body better fight infection, similar to what happens when you have a fever.

Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones, which may protect against illness.

Which brings us to the last simple recommendation:

Power Down

stay well this winterWhile it sounds great, who can block out the world, even for a moment, without a basic strategy?

Life requires breath. So why not begin there?

Begin the day with a deep inhale and long, slow cleansing exhale, counting from 4 down to 1. Repeat this respite at a red light, before the presentation, and later in bed with lights out. This will signal your body it’s time for a good night’s sleep. With rest and repair, you’ll be ready to fight another day!