Well, it’s flu season.  If you don’t believe me, go watch the news for five minutes and listen to them lose their minds about it.  My FM transmitter in my car broke, forcing me to listen to the radio.  That has brought with it a whole separate  set of headaches, but at least I am very up to date on the EPIDEMIC sweeping across our nation.  I figured EPIDEMIC should be in caps since every time I hear it, it sounds like the news man is about to leap through the radio at me and sneeze on me.

I almost never get sick.  Since I work in retail sales, its not a question of hiding until the germs go away, I am on the front lines every year.  When I went to Safeway yesterday, it seems like the entire store was hacking and coughing near all of my food stuffs, which was kind of gross.  Yet other than being a little grossed out, I am confident that I won’t get sick, because of our lifestyle (and I wash all of our food).  So here are some tips on staying healthy in the winter time, and more importantly, these are the ones that I think actually help me stay healthy, not just random internet blathering.

1. Don’t be afraid of germs, you kinda need them


Purell is not your friend.  Stop hosing yourself and everyone else down with this crap.  There are 7 of us at work.  Two of us regularly use purell for no stupid reason.  Guess which two in the store are always sick?  True, this is highly anecdotal, but I bet you know that person too.

We do have purell in our Bug Out Bags, and my wife always has some in her purse.  The only time we use it is when we go to the farm, pet all of the animals, and then head home.  We don’t want to bring any germs back to our own animals from outside sources.

Your immune system works by fighting against germs and viruses that work their way into your body.  So removing all the germs from your hands at all times means they have nothing to fight against.  Giving them small little exposures all the time lets you build up a natural response, rather than getting whooped all at once in January and your body has no hope.

2. Garlic is your friend

I don’t know any way to test this one, but Jenn and I eat a truly heroic amount of garlic in our every day cooking.  According to top Google results, garlic contains the anti-viral and anti-bacterial compound Allicin.  I don’t know about any of that, but we eat way more of it than anyone else I know, and we never get sick.

3. 2 cups of coffee everyday


This is one I greatly enjoy pulling out to astonish people.  Coffee is not bad for you, in fact, in some ways its better for you than tea.  It contains more anti-oxidants than tea, more caffeine than tea, (which isn’t bad for you by the way), and can help keep your mind healthy.  Also, the very act of drinking a hot cup of coffee in the morning means you breath in steam.  Steam helps open your sinus passages and keep stuff from growing in there.

4. Get some sleep


The last one is probably the easiest.  Get some sleep.  Last night my wife and I went to bed at 10.  Super exciting and classy for the night life right?  Who cares?  Your body needs its rest.  Sleep is when the well oiled machine re-greases itself.  Why do you think you are so tired when you are sick?  Your body is trying to go into that repair mode.  I never try to get less than 7 hours of sleep in a night, and 8 is better.  Your body will thank you, trust me, Leno ain’t worth it.

5. Only your body can cure you

I am not even touching the whole flu shot thing, but regardless of which medicine you are considering, it doesn’t actually make you better.  Only your body can heal you.  All medicine does is try to weaken the illness so your body can fight it off.  That’s why natural stuff works, its boosting your body to make it strong enough to fight.  So think about the actions you are taking right now.  Is that Taco Bell really the fuel your body needs right now?  Do those beers help or hurt your ability to heal?  Is this really the time of year to burn the midnight oil?  Support your body, and it will support you.  Let it down, and it will drop you like a sack of hammers.