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If you want to avoid being sick and feeling like you have to go to the doctor to get antibiotics and other drugs, now is the time to be thinking about prevention!
Taking care of your mind and body can do wonders for staying healthy this winter — and here are some of my favorite ways to do so:
1. Keep hydrated. Water comprises up to 60 percent of your body weight—and when you feel thirsty, you’re likely already 1 to 2 percent dehydrated. Hydration is essential any time of the year, but it’s especially important when dry winter air tends to zap away moisture. Hydration has a huge effecton how your body functions as it’s important not only for cognitive health but also for helping to regulate digestion. Carry a bottle of water around with you, and ask for refills at restaurants. Herbal tea counts as water, too, so consider making an evening ritual of sipping Lemon Balm or Relax tea with chamomile,fennel seed and marshmallow root.
2. Sleep well. Lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to catching colds. A study from Brazil found lack of sleep can result in a substantial decrease in the white blood cells that help to fight infection in the body.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to soft music or soaking in a warm bath. Avoid watching TV or using your computer just before bedtime and turn the lights down low an hour before you turn in for the night, as it will boost the release of melatonin in the brain.
Also try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
3. Get moving! Regular exercise can contribute to good health as well as a healthy immune system. One way it may do so is by supporting gut health and immune function. Additionally, getting up and moving may help you catch more quality sleep. It is important to exercise regularly, even if only for 15 minutes a day! Get out and take a short walk and enjoy the cooler weather.
4. Keep stress to a minimum. Studies have linked high stress levels to making a person more susceptible to catching colds and flu. Minimize your stress by working reasonable hours at your job. Aim for at least one night per week to spend with friends and family. Socialising helps strengthen your immune system by keeping you active and reducing your stress levels, so avoid the temptation to rug up on the couch all winter.
Invite friends over for dinner or host a games night, visit local museums and art galleries, wrap up warm and go for a walk in the park with your family or plan a cinema date with your partner.
5. Wash your hands regularly. Keep the bacteria and viruses off your hands and out of your mouth and eyes. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer close-by for those instances where you can’t get to soap and water.
6. Eat a healthy diet. Maintaining a good healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal amounts of animal ptoteins is another way to keep your body clean and in good working order. Try eating an extra piece of fruit or veggie every day too!
7. Eliminate all forms of sugar. This includes not only the obvious kinds (cake, cookies and sweets, in general), but bread, pasta, rice, yogurt and commercial, store-bought fruit juices. Although all of these things are made with different types of sugars, your body still converts them to sugar, which will compromise your immune system
8. Recover Quickly. Despite your best efforts, you still can feel like you’re “coming down with something.” Some things you can do to help your body recover more quickly:
Eliminate all dairy products.
Eliminate all alcohol.
Boost your Vitamin C (with bioflavanoids) intake when you initially feel something coming on.
Boost your intake of Zinc.
Increase water consumption (even more than normal!).
Eat less food as this will give your body a much needed rest from digestion and give it a chance to concentrate on fighting off potential invaders.
Add herbs like Echinacea, Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed extract to your supplemental regime.
Get more rest than normal. If you normally get 6 hours of sleep a night, try increasing it to 7 or 8.
Increase the recommended supplementation above.
These are just some of the simple things you can do to strengthen your body’s immune system, so that you can stay healthy and well during the winter season! If you want to discuss this topic further or consult with a lovely staff in Healthy Living please feel free to contact us.
What are your top tips for staying healthy in the cold weather? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram