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Heartland America Blog

Outsmart the Sniffles: Top 5 Epic Hacks to Dominate Cold & Flu Season

Discover game-changing tips from advanced air quality management to boosting natural defenses, and transform your approach to health this winter!

Personal Care

by Jessie Breheim • January 25, 2024

Hey there, Winter Warriors!

Get ready to ditch the tissues and dodge the sniffles this winter! Picture this: you, decked out in superhero gear, laughing in the face of viruses, and showing winter who’s boss. With a little bit of preparation and the right tools in your health arsenal, you can navigate this season with confidence and dominate winter like a wellness warrior. From advanced air quality management to boosting your body's natural defenses, let's roll out our sniffle-smashing master plan to stay healthy and resilient in the face of winter's chilly challenges this year.

1. Face Masks & Hand Hygiene: Essential Practices

In our defense against cold and flu, KN95 face masks are your front-line protection compared to basic cloth masks (which offer minimal protection against viruses). These KN95 masks offer superior filtration, effectively trapping airborne particles, including viruses. Wearing a KN95 mask, especially in crowded or enclosed spaces, can significantly reduce your risk of inhaling harmful pathogens. It’s the CDC-approved way to roll!

Pro Face Mask Tip: The CDC recommends throwing away your disposable masks after they’re worn once or if they become wet or dirty.

50 Pack KN95 4-Layer Face Masks $19.99

Equally important is maintaining diligent hand hygiene. Regular hand washing with soap and water is the most effective way to eliminate germs. It disrupts the virus's structure, effectively rendering it harmless. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to effectively remove germs and bacteria, which is about the length of humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends this duration as a key part of proper hand hygiene. While hand sanitizers can be useful in a pinch, nothing beats good old-fashioned handwashing for keeping those flu bugs away.

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2. The Air Quality Advantage: Humidifiers & Air Purifiers

Your castle (a.k.a. home) deserves the finest guardians: the mighty Humidifier and the powerful Air Purifier. Together, they’re like Batman and Robin for your air quality. Humidifiers keep the air just right, foiling virus plots with perfectly balanced humidity. Air purifiers with HEPA filters also pack a punch when combating disease-filled, dirty air trapped in your home.

Enter the humble yet mighty humidifier, the unsung hero of home air quality! It’s not just a gadget; it’s your shield in the epic battle for balanced humidity. Humidifiers play a super important role in home air quality improvement during the cold months when indoor heating can dry out the air. Keeping a balanced humidity level helps keep your hard-working mucous membranes moist, making it harder for viruses to invade and reducing your susceptibility to respiratory infections. With a humidifier in your corner, you’re not just adding comfort – you’re building a stronghold where respiratory infections dare not tread!

Now let’s talk about that air purifier - your super sidekick in the quest for pristine indoor air! Air purifiers complement humidifiers by removing pollutants, including dust, allergens, and potentially some virus particles, from your indoor air. Look for purifiers with HEPA filters, which are highly effective at capturing microscopic particles.

Enter the star of the show: the Shark Clean Sense Air Purifier. It's like the James Bond of air purifiers – sleek, sophisticated, and super effective. With its HEPA filter prowess, capturing microscopic particles, it's the secret agent you want on your side. It doesn't just clean the air; it transforms it into a breath of fresh bliss. This air-purifying hero doesn't just work hard; it looks good doing it. Its modern design is a chic addition to any room, blending style with function. As it whisks away airborne pathogens, it plays a crucial role in fortifying your home against cold and flu invaders. With this dashing defender in your corner, you're not just breathing easier – you're setting the stage for a healthier, happier you

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Shark Clean Sense Air Purifier $89.99

Pro Tip: Open your windows for an hour or two during the winter to allow added oxygen to flow through your home. This also can help you get better sleep at night!

3. Fitness & Feasting: The Dynamic Duo for Your Immune System

Pair this with a balanced feast fit for a hero! Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to supply your body with the essential nutrients it needs to keep your immune system in top shape. If you’re not a fan of veggies, you can mix them in a blender to still get those rich nutrients while still making it more palatable. Another great way to eat healthier is to use an air fryer so you can avoid extra artery-clogging grease in your diet.

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4. Catch Some Good ZZZ’s

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Adequate sleep is paramount in fortifying your immune defense - it’s like plugging into your personal charging station! Strive for a consistent slumber schedule and create a chillaxing bedtime routine that minimizes screen time (yes, we're all guilty of a little late-night scrolling). Having a nightly routine is like training your body to hit the snooze sweet spot every night, which can help you unlock your best dreams and have you feeling in tip-top shape for the next day.

Aside from having a bedtime routine, you can transform your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary that whispers, "relax and rejuvenate” to improve your sleep. Surround yourself with sleep allies: plush and supportive pillows that cradle your head like clouds, mattress toppers that hug you into dreamland, and perhaps even earplugs and a sleep mask to shield you from the sneaky intruders of sound and light. It's not just about catching some shut-eye; it's about crafting a nightly escape to a wonderland of rest and rejuvenation.

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5. Prevention Power-Ups: Flu Shots, Vitamins, and Essential Supplies

Strengthening your immune system to the next level is oh so important for staying healthy during cold and flu season. Boost your defenses with the ultimate power-up: the flu shot. The flu shot is a key player in this effort, training your body to recognize and fight the flu virus like a pro. Throw in some vitamin sidekicks (Vitamin C, zinc, echinacea) for that extra spark for your immune system.

If you do end up getting sick, be prepared by keeping a trusty thermometer and over-the-counter painkillers in your household. Stocking up on tissues can also help lessen the blow (pun intended!). While these won't prevent illness, they sure can come in handy when you’re feeling under the weather.

Your Blueprint for a Healthy Winter

Ready to take on the cold and flu season in 2024? Arm yourself with KN95 masks, master the art of handwashing, and deploy air quality champions for a healthier winter. Combine fitness, quality sleep, and essential health boosters to strengthen your defenses. Embrace these strategies with enthusiasm, and show winter you're not just surviving, you're thriving! 🌟💪

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