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Surviving the Flu Season

So many people have been getting the flu lately so I thought it perfectly providential that I post about how to survive the flu season. My family hardly ever gets the flu. The reason for this is because we make sure to boost our immune systems constantly and eat healthy in order to avoid getting sick. Here are the best ways to prepare your body for flu season and/or get over the flu easier.

1. Airborne Anytime you feel a cold or flu coming on, immediately start taking vitamin C. Airborne is great because you just drop a tab in water and it provides you with the necessary amount of vitamins you need to boost your immune system and kick that virus out.

2. Try not to stress too much (physically and mentally) Stress releases cortisol which can lower your immune system in large amounts. When you are constantly under a lot of mental stress, the release of cortisol temporarily suppresses the immune system in order to deal with whatever you are stressing over. The same goes for exercising too much/often. When you exercise, your body is temporarily suppressing the immune system in order to put all of its efforts into whatever exercise you are doing. 3. Keep your hands clean Shaking hands, holding onto subway railings, reading a menu, putting your hand on the barre...all can create a buildup of germs on your hands. Make sure you are washing your hands after contact with objects that might have been touched by a sick person.

4. Stay hydrated! Your body is 75-80% water so it is extremely important to make sure that you are properly hydrated. I love drinking tea in the winter because it warms me up (a great immune boosting tea recipe can be found in A Dancer's Diary). You can also drink some warm lemon, honey water in the morning (detox) or water with Airborne in it. Anything but soda, fruit juice, or alcoholic beverages as they will suppress the immune system and dehydrate you.

5. SLEEP Sleeping allows your body to recuperate and regenerate. If you are not getting enough sleep, your body doesn't have the time it needs to rest and replenish what has been lost throughout the day. It is recommended that the average adult get 8-9 hours of sleep per night and adolescents should get at least 10-11 hours.

6. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and raw foods Any kind of food that is raw and in its natural form will provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep your body healthy and strong. Try to stick to organic foods (fresh foods, dairy products, and meat) as much as possible as they do not have added pesticides or hormones in them. Organic, whole milk has beneficial bacteria in it that helps your gut work properly, thus boosting the immune system and lowering the risk of allergies. Check out A Dancer's Diary for a whole list of healthy foods that will help you stay healthy during the flu season. 7. Oscillococcinum If you have the flu already, this homeopathic is what you need. When taken at the first sign it works immediately and can reduce symptoms after only a couple of days. The great thing is that you can find oscillococcinum at Walgreens!

8. Raw garlic! This one is rough but very effective. At the first sign of a cold/flu or just for the heck of it, smash one clove of garlic and spread on a slice of buttered bread. The garlic contains allicin which works to help fight infection. Your breath will smell a little, but it will kick any virus' butt. If you would like more suggestions on how to get through cold and flu season, check out my book. A Dancer's Diary contains tons of information on how to keep your body in optimal conditioning all year inside and outside of dance. What works for you when you get sick? Until next time, Amanda

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