How to stay healthy when everyone else is sick

In an ongoing series on health, nutrition and becoming a better you, Modern Mississauga has teamed up with local fitness and health enthusiast Julie Cropper to provide tips, advice and inspiration to help you become the best you possible. Got a question for Julie? Send it to

Welcome to cold and flu season. The kids come home from school with colds. Everyone in the office is coughing and sneezing around you. There are cold and flu germs everywhere! Staying healthy is important - here are a few things I do to stay healthy when everyone around me is sick.

Stay squeaky clean

Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially when you come in contact with people who are sick. I buy fun colourful soaps to make it more appealing for my kids to “want” to wash their hands when they get home from school. Or, use a hand sanitizer to kill those germs before they make you ill.

Don’t share

When the kids are sick, don’t finish their half eaten meal or drink from their cup. Don’t borrow office supplies from a co-worker who is sick. Sometimes it’s best not to share when it’s the germs you’ll be sharing too!

Get some shuteye

Listen to your body and if you feel tired, go to sleep! A good night's sleep can help raise your melatonin levels which improves immunity and will help you avoid that “run down” feeling. Go to bed early or nap during the day if needed.

Work it out

Don’t hibernate, head to the gym! Some cardio and strength training will boost your immune system and will help you fight any viruses that are already in your system.

Get your vitamins

I like to get by vitamins and minerals from food, but at this time of year, we need a little extra help. Even though I’m eating well, I’ll take a few supplements including magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin D to help fill in any gaps in my diet to keep me strong.

Healthy habits make a healthy life

Eating healthy and exercising regularly will have a positive impact on your immune system and help keep you healthy. So when everyone around you is sick, keep up with your exercise routine and fuel your body with “super foods.” Avoid processed “junk” foods. Go easy on the gluten-containing grains (wheat, barley, rye, and oats) and dairy products. I like to include plenty of fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil and immune-boosting garlic. I just made a batch of hummus with extra garlic to snack on to help fight off those germs!

Drink up

Drinking plenty of water during the winter months can be tough, so I switch to herbal teas, green tea or warm water with lemon. Water helps to flush out germs from your system and will help you avoid dehydration.

Let the sunshine in

If the sun is shining, make sure to get outside for at least 10 minutes a day. The UV in sunlight kills germs and helps keep you healthy. 

Remember to take care of yourself and take time get better. Hopefully, some of these tips will keep healthy even though everyone around you is sick. What do you do to avoid colds and flu?  Let us know!

Julie has a passion for health and fitness and is on a mission to help others be the best they can be at any age. Follow her on Instagram @julescropper.