Fall is in full swing and with it comes spiced lattes, falling leaves and jack-o-lanterns. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when people tend to get sick the most. Whether it’s the nasty flu virus or persistent cold, illnesses are easily transferable with more people spending time indoors. Here are a few natural ways to help keep you and your family healthy and strong this coming season. 

Wash Your Hands

You’re probably sick of hearing this but the simple act of washing your hands throughout the day is one of the most effective methods of preventing the flu from spreading. As a parent, make sure your children are washing their hands after school, after using the bathroom and before meals. While this may seem excessive, it can go a long way in keeping your family sickness free! 

Exercise Regularly

Once cold weather starts to roll in, it’s normal to push exercise to the backburner. However, not exercising during the flu season is one of the many reasons why it spreads so quickly. When your body becomes sedentary for too long, the immune system is compromised, leaving your body open to potential invaders. 

Keep your body moving during these colder months with home exercises on YouTube, indoor sports like basketball, or even breathing and stretching exercises like yoga and tai chi. While you might have to leave the soccer pitch until spring, the cold shouldn’t stop you from incorporating regular exercise into your daily schedule. 

Eat More Produce

For an immune system to function optimally, it needs the proper nutrition from vegetables and fruit! Although nutritional supplements do exist to fill dietary needs, nothing is as potent as getting these nutrients from their organic source! Some of the best foods to eat to boost your immune system include:

  • Garlic
  • Red bell peppers
  • Sprouted broccoli
  • Spinach

I get it, trying to force children to eat these food items can be a bit of a chore. Do your best to hide these vegetables cleverly into your dish to mask the taste. For example, I mix boiled spinach into my mashed potatoes before serving it to my kids, which they absolutely love!

Get Enough Sleep

Just like exercise and nutrition, your body needs to be well-rested for your immune system to be most effective at fighting off illness. The results of one study show that sleep deprivation is a major factor in a compromised immune system. Make sure your children shut off all electronics at least thirty minutes before bedtime to for the best chance at a good night’s sleep. So do your body a favor and make sure you’re getting at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night!

Remember, keeping your family sickness free starts with you as the parent. Practice the above tips to keep yourself healthy and to set a good example for your children as they watch your every move (they do, trust me). If you exhibit proper hygiene and preventative habits, they will too!