Monday, October 26, 2015

10 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Fall and Winter

Chillier weather is fast approaching.  This means flu, colds, staying inside more and just losing motivation to stay active.  I’m going to suggest some tips that will help prevent common illnesses and inspire a healthy and active season.   Most of these tips should be practiced year-round, but is extremely important during cold weather months when we are especially susceptible to getting sick.
  1. Exercise. Head to the gym to stay out of the cold and workout at least an hour, 3days a week. Bundle up and take walks or go for a hike. It’s important to get at least 15mins a day in of exercise.
    1. Find someone to work out with during the winter season. Having a partner is great for accountability and even for a little friendly competition.
    2. Try a new workout or find a class to join. Something new and different tends to create excitement and hold your interest longer.
    3. Warm up inside before a workout to get blood flowing to the muscles. Cold and stiff muscles are more prone to injury. Consider jumping jacks, a jog on the treadmill or cycling.
    4. Try Yoga or Pilates. Yoga is a great way to keep muscles limber and take a stress break. Pilates builds strong core muscles and can improve posture.
  2. Clothing. Wear the right clothes when exercising when it is cold out. Polypropylene provides great insulation but minimizes moisture loss. Gore-Tex is a fabric used widely for providing protection from the rain and wind.
  3. Healthy diet. Eat more Fruits and vegetables, with minimal amounts of organic meats. You need to keep your body in good shape with clean healthy foods.
    1. Carrots: A diet rich in beta-carotene (which is also found in bell peppers, kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes and squash) protects the lining of the nose, which traps germs before they can infect you.
    2. Green Tea: Stay warm and drink tea. Tea has interferon called L-theanine which fights viruses in the blood. Green or black tea is fine to drink.
    3. Nonfat Greek Yogurt: This has high amounts of probiotics and protein. Protein helps increase the number of immune cells in your body. Probiotics are healthy bacteria in the gut that keeps you free of disease causing germs. Eating yogurt or taking a probiotic supplement daily is recommended.
    4. Salmon: Fish is a great source of heart-strengthening omega-3 fatty acids. One serving also contains up to 1,000 IU of vitamin D; which helps stave off colds.
    5. Garlic: A compound called allicin fights against bacterial, viral and fungal infections; which in turn fight off colds, the flu and other illnesses.
  4. Meditate. Meditation will help lower stress levels to keep your immune system strong. All you need is a few minutes and a quiet corner.
  5. Sleep. Make sure you are getting enough sleep; at least 6-8 hours per night. If you’re running on fumes during the day your body’s immune system will begin to shut down, making you vulnerable to getting sick.
  6. Humidifier.  A humidifier will combat dry air and reduces your susceptibility to infections.
  7. Pop Astragalus. This immune booster supplement comes from a Chinese root. Take for at least 3 months out of the year for best results.  Suggest does is two 500mg capsules of dried astragalus root, three times a day.
  8. Don’t worry, be happy.Stress can impair your immune system while a positive attitude can boost your immune system.
  9. Get outside whenever there is sunlight. Vitamin D has been proven to boost serotonin levels putting you in a good mood.
  10. Already getting sick. If you feel like you are starting to get sick, there are ways to fight it off or at least lessen the length of time you are under the weather.
    1. Eliminate all dairy products.
    2. Eliminate all alcohol, this impedes your immune system.
    3. Eliminate all grains.
    4. Increase your intake of Zinc.
    5. Increase water consumption (even more than normal!).
    6. 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.
    7. Take herbs like Echinacea, Goldenseal and Grapefruit Seed Extract
    8. Get more rest than normal. Increase the recommended supplementation above
Hope these tips will help you and your families stay healthy during the colder months.

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