Monday, January 25th, 2021

Stay Healthy at Work During Flu Season

By Dr. Jenny Schmidt-White on Dec 27 2011 • Filed under Health

How to Stay Healthy at Work (Photo: Kurhan)Cold and Flu season arrives in September and generally lingers throughout the winter months with a constant barrage of co-workers sniffling, sneezing and coughing (not to mention the people in the coffee shop line-up and on public transit). Coming to work sick not only increases the risk of others getting sick but decreases productivity at work. So what are the options for improving health and immune system function and reducing sick days?

The best approach to preventing colds and flus is through lifestyle changes which lay the groundwork for your immune system to efficiently recognize and destroy foreign bacteria and viruses. The foundation of good health begins with:

  • Regular exercise – 30 minutes a day of moderate enjoyable activity supports immune function

  • Whole foods diet – whole grains, lean meats, healthy fats, and a variety of vegetables increases antioxidant and nutrient status

  • Plenty of fluids – one to two Litres daily

  • Low sugar intake – minimize sugar as one teaspoon can suppress immune system function for up to five hours

  • Stress management – positive coping methods (exercise, yoga, meditation, social activities) help decrease cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone which impairs the immune system)

  • Sleep – good quality sleep allows defense systems to operate fully

The health of a company is connected to the health of its employees. Maintaining a positive, active and healthy lifestyle will help reduce sick days and improve workplace productivity.

If the symptoms of achiness, sore throat, stuffy nose, and general malaise have already begun, it is important to support and maximize defense mechanisms to reduce the length of illness and return to work in a healthy productive state. Options to decrease the length of your cold or flu include:

  • Garlic – has the widest spectrum antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral activity of all foods; consume it in its raw form to benefit from its active properties

  • Homemade organic chicken broth helps thin mucous

  • Sleep – the most important remedy for cold or flu illness as it allows for repair and optimal immune action

  • Drinking plenty of fluids during illness helps the body get rid of toxins and waste products; at least two Litres of water or herbal tea daily is recommended

  • Echinacea – a good quality Echinacea like MediHerb will help improve your body’s defense reaction to the virus or bacteria

  • Vitamins A, C, E, and zinc and selenium – decrease the life of a cold/flu virus, repair mucous membranes, and support immune and detoxification

  • Complex homeopathics are beneficial – Boiron and Heel have remedies specific for flus available in health food stores

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