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Secrets to Staying Strong in Sick Season

If you have been out and about at all around this time of year there is no doubt you have noticed watery eyes, runny noses, maybe some deep huffing or sharp rough wheezing, and most likely even coughing and sneezing. It’s no secret to most people that this time of year From around early December to late May our kiddos are more prone to stuffed noses and little sad faces 🤒, This is a season we here at L.O.V.E. like to call sick season. At our school we have experienced this notorious sick season for over 12+ years, and we have managed to pick up on some tips and tricks that we hope will help you prevent, and face anything that comes your way this sick season so you and your family can stay strong and healthy all the way through!

Spend time outdoors

The great Outdoors is filled with so many great opportunities for family activities! From delicious mouth watering cookouts, to unforgettable backyard buzzer beater moments, there is no doubt some of the most fun you can have with the people you love will be spent enjoying time in the thrilling & beautiful expanse we like to call the outdoors. What you may not have known about spending time outdoors however is that not only is it a great place for family activities and just overall fun, but it may also serve as a natural built in boost for our health and an essential training ground for our immune system!

Benefits of spending time outdoors

Better breathing 😮‍💨: Sure the outside is home to many pollutants and allergens that make their home in the air we breathe and cause all sort of allergies 🤧 ,

but did you know that the indoor concentration of some pollutants can often be 2-5 times higher than the typical outdoor concentrations of the same pollutants. One article posted by the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 says “ the circulated air in closed environments is the main cause of your child getting sick. All of the bacteria, dirt, dander, and other germs simply get recycled through the air vents over and over. The more time you spend inside, the more you are exposed.” Good air circulation has a better chance of diluting the presence of viruses in the air, in fact 2021 research shows us that the likely hood of transmission is 18.7 times higher indoors than they are outdoors. So spending time in lush green areas with large natural open spaces might help lower the risk of respiratory issues for you and your family!

Develop stronger immune system 🏋️: Your immune system is front and center when it comes to preventing & protecting your body from foreign invaders & viruses 🦠 that would like

nothing more than to infect you and impose the will of sick season in your life, and even worse the life of your loved ones.

If that sounds like a lot of work, you’re right, it is! Our immune system is at work 24/7 365 days a year maintaining our health even when we dont realize there is a threat to our health, pretty amazing right! Interestingly enough some of the most potent support we can offer our support system lives right outside our door. “The sunshine vitamin” or vitamin D is amazing for overall health. It is essential for bone development, it potentially reduces the likelihood of severe illness, & last but definitely not least it regulates and strengthens the immune system! All you have to do to get some of this immune goodness is step outside and soak in some sunshine! It is recommended that you take 10- 30 minutes a day three days a week in sunlight for your body to absorb all the sunlight it needs to produce sufficient vitamin D for the whole week! The outdoors also serves as a state of the art military training facility for your immune system. Microorganisms and foreign substances in the air provide an excellent opportunity for your immune system to get some practice identifying & eliminating potentially harmful invaders. In 2021 the National Library of Medicine published an article which states “ inhaling certain volatile natural compounds can have a beneficial effect on the elicited immune response.” They continued to say “nature exposure supports immunological homeostasis and might offer promising strategies for therapeutic and preventive clinical use.” So now every time you step outside just remember you might just be building the internal resilience your body is going to need to fight off future infections!

Maintain a proper hygiene

Chances are that you’ve probably heard that good hygiene plays a key role in maintaining and promoting good health. As obvious as it seems proper hygiene is not just a good idea you should agree with and look into, daily proper hygiene is actually essential for the prevention and protection against diseases and infections that threaten your family this season. A news letter from says “Good hygiene is vital because it helps prevent you and your children from getting or spreading germs and infectious diseases. The germs that cause many diseases can be passed on through touching other people, getting faeces (poo) on your hands, handling contaminated food, or coming into contact with dirty surfaces or objects” So going the extra mile to make sure everything is clean and disinfected might just keep your family healthy this sick season. With that being said here are some tips and tricks to Keeping your home and family as clean and protected as possible this time of year!

Washing your hands

The CDC has gone on record saying “ hand washing is one of the best ways to protect you and your family from getting sick” which is great news for us because washing our hands is simple, cost effective, and if done right even a little fun!

It is recommended that for pristine twinkling hands you follow these blank steps every time!

1️⃣ Wet your hands & apply soap

2️⃣ Rub your hands together with the soap ( make sure to get all the germs hiding in the hard to reach places like the back of your hands and between your fingers they can be really sneaky 🧼

3️⃣ scrub your hands together for about 20 seconds long ( if you need a timer just hum the chorus of your favorite song! )

4️⃣ Rinse your hands

5️⃣ dry your hands using a clean towel or just let those bad boys air dry!

Every day cleaning 🧼

Making sure your home is clean and germ free also plays a big role in keeping sicknesses far away from your family! A clean home is yet another boundary that helps repel disease and infection, so much so that the CDC posted an article saying “Cleaning alone removes most harmful viruses or bacteria from surfaces.” What you may not know is that there are actually three different stages to cleanliness cleaning, sanitizing, & disinfecting. The good news is you may not have to use all three stages if you know the diffrence in between them, and learn to identify when to use each!

Cleaning: Cleaning is the essential first step to removing dust, dirt, and grime that houses most germs in and on the surfaces of your home! ( dont forget about the sneaky little guys that hide in all the nooks and cranny’s your home has to offer they’re like ninjas 🥷 ) In order to properly clean your house your going to want to pay attention to all of the surfaces, clothing, toys, and just overall high contact areas within your home! This stage of cleanliness includes but is not limited to:

  • Sweeping

  • Moping

  • Vacuuming

  • Wiping off counter tops

  • Taking out the trash

  • Cleaning the dishes

  • Keeping a tidy room ( keeping an eye out for germ ninjas 👀 )

  • & Doing laundry

Sanitizing & disinfecting are harsher more thorough ways of cleaning that kill and remove bacteria and viruses with stronger chemicals, as opposed to just removing the dirt dust and grime that house all of those germs in the first place. Sanitizing and disinfecting are probably not necessary unless there is someone already sick in your home, or there is someone more vulnerable to getting sick in your home. ( like an infant who is…. Let’s just say very curious about the world around them 👶🏽 In which case you could always boil toys and feeding utensils in hot water to remove all germs and bacteria before and after your baby gets to playing 🤪 )

Eating a Healthy diet

Last but definitely not least eating a healthy diet is a very effective & sometimes delicious 🤤 strategy to keeping your health in tip top shape all year round! There are all sorts of colorful and appetizing foods that are not just fun and flavorful but also extremely beneficial and even essential to your health! Emily Clairmont, clinical dietitian in Culinary Medicine at The University of Vermont Medical Center, Cleverly stated that “food is medicine” and that research indicates “as much as 70% of immunity is in the gut.” Most dietitian‘s agree that rather than attempting to boost your body’s immunity all at once ( which yields little to no results ) it is better to maintain a balanced diet with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A couple of foods that really nourish your body and support immunity are:

  • Leafy greens (i.e., spinach and kale) benefit your body because they contain vitamin C, iron, vitamin E and folic acid among many other vitamins and minerals.

  • Broccoli has vitamin C, iron, vitamin E and selenium, all of which aid in immunity. Plus its so fun to imagine Little trees as you eat them 🥦 😂

  • Legumes (i.e., chickpeas and lentils) have vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, selenium and zinc. Adding legumes to soup is a smart way to boost your immune system while staying warm, and they are so delicious! 🍲

  • Nuts and seeds contain vitamin E, an antioxidant, which helps rid your body of free radicals that can make you sick. Eating a handful of almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and/or Brazil nuts makes a great snack.

  • Fatty fish (i.e., salmon, tuna, mackerel) is yet another excellent source of vitamin D, which keeps your bones and immunity strong. Eating fatty fish is a great way to get the daily recommended amount, and a Mouth watering addition to any dinner time menu!

  • Chicken soup The classics are classics for a reason, and chicken soup is definitely no exception! The soup’s warmth may help reduce congestion, Warm liquids have been know to be particularly helpful for decongestion. The chicken in chicken soup also has amino acids that help break down mucus and have antiviral, antioxidant, & anti inflammatory effects 🍗

Staying healthy is more of a lifestyle than it is a procedure, Evaluating who you are and where you are at honestly, and then making the choices necessary to becoming the healthiest version of yourself or your family. That’s the way to real change and growth, unfortunately there are no shortcuts its going to take intentionality and commitment and yes especially endurance, but if you dont give up the result will be the strongest, healthiest, most alive version of yourself or your family unit you have ever met! So if you made it this far into the read I’m about to reveal the secret to staying strong in sick season. Are you ready? Here we go….. its Perseverance nothing can stop you in your pursuit of health if you make up your mind to never settle for a mediocre health and always seek complete and true healthy well being!

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