The 2017-2018 flu season is hitting North Texas hard as the death toll continues to rise each week. More than 60 flu deaths have been reported between Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant Counties. In the last two months, most of my clients and their families have come down with the flu or cold. Flu prevention is very personal but you may be surprised to know there are two easy habits that can decrease your chances of getting sick: a good night’s sleep and water.
It’s recommended that you get 8 hours of sleep a night so that your body can fully recharge and this is especially important during flu season. When the body is tired…your immune system won’t function at its best. In a study conducted over a period of two weeks, people were given nasal drops with a virus that causes cold and flu. The results showed that people who slept less than 7 hours were 3 times more likely to get the flu than people who slept for 8 hours or more.
Lack of sleep also negatively impacts your productivity, concentration and mood throughout the day. A good night’s sleep is one half of an equation that can help you fight off the flu. The other half of the equation is water.
Drinking water is a vital part of keeping your body healthy flu season or not. It helps you lose weight, it keeps your joints and organs properly hydrated, its good for your skin and it protects your immune system from cold, flu and other diseases. Most people don’t know how much water they should drink a day. Two key factors are your weight and activity level. A good rule of thumb for how much water you should drink a day is to take your total body weight and multiply that by 2/3 or 67%. The number you come up with is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. A healthy water intakes helps your body perform better and leads to a relaxed mind and less stress, which in turn helps you sleep better. If you are an active person who exercises regularly then you probably need to increase your water intake above 67% of your body weight.
Good sleep and properly hydrating your body are two healthy habits you can do daily that will help keep your immune system operating at it’s peak. This will help your body be in a prime state to fight off the flu and other diseases.