Have you noticed that everyone at work is sick this week? Not like, in bed for three-days-straight, flash back to a scene from The Exorcist sick, but … you know, sick. What makes the situation harder for everyone is they come back not even knowing what is wrong. Hello germs! Come on in and stay a while. You know what happens next; everyone else in the office starts dropping like flies not really knowing what they got from Victim #1 who started the office pandemic. Call in the CDC. But maybe it could be easier to know what you are dealing with if you understand the differences between health issues like the common cold and the vicious, want-to-crawl-in-a-hole FLU. What should I really be worried about, and what can I do to keep my immune system in tip-top shape?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. What’s tricky is that both have similar symptoms, so sometimes it’s hard to differentiate the two. (See the differences in the chart below.) But that doesn’t mean you need to spend your days isolated away in fear of being sneezed on. There are natural ways to help boost your immune system, making it harder for those pesky viruses to settle down at home in your body.
Step 1: Make sure you’re washing your hands. How often do you touch your face in a given day? It can be anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 times a day. Or if you are like me…10,000!
Step 2: Arm yourself with produce! Eat lots of fruits and veggies that are loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants like broccoli, carrots, peepers, spinach, grapefruit, papayas and oranges. First of all, they taste great; second, they are considerably less expensive than a visit to the doctor’s office. Don’t forget that aloe is a natural immune booster too!
Step 3: Get your beauty sleep! Your body must have downtime in order to keep you healthy. Aim for at least 8 hours a night. (This may involve kicking the kids out of your bed. Or a spouse that snores way too much.)
Step 4: The word we all hate to hear…EXERCISE. I know, I know, you don’t have time or you are so stressed out with work and chores at home. But exercise is vital to maintaining good health. This doesn’t mean you have to train for a half-marathon, but aim for 30 minutes a day. You can do it.
Alright so maybe I should stop being so anti-social by ostracizing myself from the whole office, but I don’t think keeping a fresh supply of sanitary masks behind my desk is overboard… do you?
On a final note, our aloe vera products have been clinically proven to increase white blood cell count. View our studies here.
(Below is a chart from Syracuse University’s health services that may help you differentiate between what you may feel when you have a cold or the flu.)
|Aches||Usual, often severe||Slight|
|Tiredness||Moderate to severe||Mild|
|Symptom onset||Appear within 3 to 6 hours||Symptoms appear gradually|
|Coughing||Dry, unproductive cough||Hacking, productive cough|
|Chest discomfort||Often severe||Mild to moderate|