Everyone has heard of flu season. It usually starts mid-fall and continues on until early spring. Yet the flu virus is around all year, so why do we have a “flu season”?
Our bodies become susceptible to diseases and illnesses for a number of reasons at this time of year due to:
- Lack of sunlight ~ Very appropriate for us Canadians. We don’t get enough Vitamin D through “flu season,” making us susceptible to getting sick. This condition is easily remedied by supplementing with a good Vitamin D capsule.
- Decreased activity ~ This one should not happen. With the availability of snowshoes, skating ponds, ski hills, gyms…we can maintain our activity levels all the way through winter. In fact, it’s good for our bodies to mix up our recreational sports and give our joints a rest from summer sports like golf or soccer.
- Dehydration ~ A lot more hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate is consumed at this time of year, and the caffeine can dehydrate us. In Canada we have dry, cold winters that require as much water consumption in the winter as in the summer, and even more if we are dehydrated from those hot drinks.
- Poor dietary choices ~ We go from pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving to Halloween treats to Christmas and New Year’s treats. Lots and lots of sugar. This is another key issue, as good nutrition fuels a heathy immune system.
- Stress ~ This time of year can create extra stress. From physical stress due to raking leaves or shovelling snow, to the emotional stress of coping with family over the holidays, stress drains the immune system. This is where chiropractic care can be key in helping us cope with the flu season. Removing the stress from the body through adjustments and soft-tissue work, we make the body stronger and better able to function.
In summary, the flu is here year-round, but we can help fight it during “flu season” by taking Vitamin D, keeping up our recreational activities, staying hydrated, eating healthily, and removing physical stress from the body through treatments like chiropractic care. If chiropractic care is the missing piece of the puzzle, please give our office a call to see if we can help.
Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC