Amanda Bauler, CRNP, Valley Health War Memorial Hospital Family Medicine | Hancock.
Winter is just around the corner and with it comes the onslaught of colds
and flus. How can you stay healthier this winter?
Back to the Basics
First, back to the basics. Wash your hands! Cold and flu viruses are primarily
spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These
viruses can live on surfaces (door-knobs, counters, etc) for extended
periods. Wash your hands throughout the day to protect yourself from this
Eat for Strength
It has long been known that malnutrition increases your risk of infectious
disease. To build a healthy immune system focus on a diet rich in fruits,
vegetables, whole-grains and legumes. These plant foods are rich in micro-nutrients
that provide your immune system with all the nutrients it needs to perform at peak.2
Cut Back on Sugary Snacks
Sugar impairs the ability of your germ fighting cells to function properly.
The effect lasts for several hours after you eat a sugary snack or drink
a sugar laden beverage.3 Give your immune system a boost by substituting a vitamin-rich fruit instead
of the candy or some refreshing water or herbal tea instead of the soda!
Don’t Stop Moving!
Exercise promotes healthy immune function and several studies have shown
it helps prevent the common cold.4 Think of ways to keep moving, even when it is chilly outside. There’s
nothing better than a brisk 20-30 minute walk to increase energy and boost
your immune health—just add an extra layer or two of clothes. If
the weather outside is miserable find ways to be more active indoors (climb
the stairs, work-out with an online aerobics program, or do some chair
exercises). Every little bit helps!
Vitamin D-Missing the Sunshine Vitamin?
A growing body of research links Vitamin D deficiency to poor immune function
and an increased risk of colds and flus. Supplement with Vitamin D3 1000
IU fall to spring and whenever the sunshine is out-get outside and take
a walk to soak up just a little of its benefits.5
Amanda Bauler, CRNP is now accepting new patients at Valley Health War
Memorial Hospital Family Medicine │ Hancock. To schedule an appointment,
please call 301-678-6292.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work & School. Retrieved at
2 Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School.
How to Boost Your Immune System. Retrieved at
J. L. Reeser,
H. S. Lau,
P. Y. Yahiku,
R. E. Willard,
P. J. McMillan,
S. Y. Cho,
A. R. Magie, and
U. D. Register. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis.
4 PubMed Health. The effect of exercise on prevention of the common cold:
a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial studies. Retrieved at
5 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Vitamin D and Health. Retrieved at