The cold and flu season is near approaching! Here are 8 tips that are essential in keeping healthy this winter:
Eat Good Food.
Sounds simply but, when I say good food, I mean foods that will nourish your body…foods that are filled with vitamins and minerals to help support your immune system and keep it strong. Think of warming foods such as stews and soups filled with hearty winter vegetables.
Eat lots of garlic.
Garlic is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal! The trick is to eat it raw, as this is when it is most powerful – add garlic to salad dressings for some extra zing.
Add ginger to your diet.
Ginger increases circulation, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Making a cup of fresh ginger tea can be a lovely way to warm up as it’s getting colder outside. Other ways to improve your circulation include activities such as swimming and yoga. Even walking will help.
Get a good night’s sleep.
A lot can be said for getting a good nights sleep, but studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can actually dampen your immune system. Aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, and be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they are both stimulants, which can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Sugar has been shown to reduce the way your immune system responds to foreign invaders by up to 50%. This affect starts happening within half an hour of consuming a large amount of sugar. Five hours later, the immune system is still not working at full force, so sugar has the ability to really reduce the way your immune system works. Cut back on sugar foods and drinks as much as possible to avoid getting sick.
Get some exercise.
Regular exercise has been shown to actually increase the number of immune cells in the body….however excessive exercise has been shown to reduce them…so aim for a brisk walk 3-5 times a week to make sure you not only get some fresh air, but that your body gets moving!
Drink lots of water.
We shouldn’t under estimate the importance of staying hydrated! The human body is made up of 70% water…so you really need to make sure that you are getting enough fluids during the day. Remember if you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated, try to remember to drink small amounts more often. Your body only absorbs 200mls at a time, so there is no point drinking a gallon of water all at once, as it will just pass through your body. Aim to drink a small glass of water every hour or so. If plain water isn’t your thing, herbal teas are a tasty way to get some fluids in and may be more appealing during the colder months.
It is important not to let winter become an excuse to put on a few pounds, as over the years these pounds add up until before you know it, you are overweight. Being overweight places more stress on your body and reduces the ability of your immune system from functioning as well. So avoid the typical winter weight gain….you will thank yourself when it’s time to hit the beach in summer!
Be prepared – stay healthy this winter! If you have any further queries or questions please contact us.