How to Outfox Flu Season

Good health starts at home. Here are a few ways to keep your household healthy this fall.

Now that it’s fall, did you know that influenza might be in the air? Research has found that the flu virus is more stable in cold weather and that low humidity keeps the virus light and transportable through the air. You can’t control the weather, but you can control how you prep your home this season.

Build a bedroom sanctuary
Quality sleep may play the most important role in keeping us healthy. The ideal sleep environment is one that is dark and quiet. Darkness triggers our bodies’ release of melatonin (a sleep hormone) and keeps our internal clocks running on time. Electronic devices or a loud house/neighborhood can disturb a natural descent into sleep by stimulating the brain with light and noise. Heavy curtains, sleep masks and white noise machines can all contribute to a better night’s rest.

Explore seasonal foods
The months leading to winter offer a unique opportunity in food choices at the grocery store or farmers market. Stock your house with butternut squash—it has more potassium by volume than a banana, reduces inflammation and is loaded with immune system boosting vitamin A. Beets improve blood flow and heart function, allowing for more stamina during exercise. Apples are packed with vitamin C and fiber and naturally lower blood pressure. Taking cues from nature during the fall crop cycle should have us in tip-top shape for fighting illness.

Manage your home’s air quality
The fall season’s low humidity not only dries out our hair and skin but our virus-trapping mucus membranes also. Heating the home will further evaporate moisture, as well as circulate dust, pollen and other allergens—all leading to dry, irritable airways and a vulnerable immune system. Remember to moisturize, hydrate, and even run a humidifier to restore comfortable humidity to your indoor climate. A vacuum with a HEPA filter or an air purifier are also effective ways of keeping the air you breathe clean and your lungs thankful.

Mother and daughter cleaning kitchen counter

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