With 2014 in full swing, the coldest winter months are here! Cold weather means that we’re now entering the flu season – 81 people in Oregon were admitted to hospitals for the flu during the week of Christmas.
Dancers at Ballet Fantastique need healthy bodies to be able to perform, so it’s very important to take good care of yourself during the next couple of months! Hannah, our Executive Director, likes to drink Emergen-C on a regular basis to prevent sicknesses.
Here are some other tips on how to stay healthy during the flu season:
- Get a flu shot! It’s not too late to get your flu shot, and it’s a good preventative measure. This year’s vaccine will help you prevent the H1N1 strain, which is what most of the flu cases in Oregon this year have been so far. You can easily get vaccinated at your nearest Walgreens, Target, or any other pharmacy or health center.
- Bundle up with layers and warm accessories. When your body feels cold, your immune system is more vulnerable. When you’re leaving your house, don’t forget to grab a warm scarf, beanie or gloves. Keeping your neck, hands and ears warm can make a huge difference. And if you’re on your way to dance class, you’ll be able to move better if your body is warm. When shopping for cold weather accessories, choose those made with wool or cashmere if possible for extra warmth!
- Increase your vitamin C and zinc intake. These are important parts of your daily diet that can help boost your immune system! Contrary to popular belief, there are some food items that contain more vitamin C than oranges – such as papaya, red bell peppers, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, and kiwi. And when it comes to zinc, foods such as oysters, beef, lamb, spinach, pumpkin seeds, nuts, chocolate, beans, and mushrooms are good choices. Also, here’s a great video for dancers with nutrition tips.
- If you’re sick, stay at home! Resting at home will not only help you recover faster, but also prevent others around you from getting sick. Similarly, try to avoid crowded places where you will be exposed to germs. When it’s cold, your natural reaction might be to huddle with others, but close contact provides opportunities for germs to spread!
- Hydrate, exercise and sleep well. Dehydration weakens your body, so make sure you’re drinking fluids! When it’s cold it’s a little harder to get yourself out of bed to work out, but exercise is a great way to stay healthy. Maintain a regular work out schedule, and have a friend or family member hold you accountable to keep you motivated. Finally, get an as much sleep as possible every night to avoid having a tired, vulnerable body!
With these tips, you can still enjoy the cold winter months! The key is prevention, so as long as you take good care of your body and you’ll be fine. Do you have any personal tips that we forgot to mention? We’d love to hear them in your comments below!