As temperatures are dipping, more and more people are starting to get sick. If you’re always one of the first ones to catch the cold that’s going around in the office, I’ve got good news for you. Your lifestyle can influence your immune system’s ability to fight off diseases, which means that by following the recommendations below, you can avoid the awkwardness of calling in sick (and feeling crappy) every few weeks. Here’s what to do:
Adopt a nutrition based on colour, variety, fibre, and real foods. Did you know that 70% of your immune system is in your gut? This amazing organ contains trillions of microbes that play a key role in the functioning of your immune system. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables helps promote a broad range of beneficial bacteria, and this can only mean good news when it comes to your immune function. By the way, when I talk about fruits and vegetables, I don’t just mean salads and fruit salads. Those are definitely less appetizing when it’s 0 degrees outside. Get creative with your veggies: roast, steam, or even make soups out of them.
Break a sweat, regularly. When it starts getting cold, sometimes all we want to do is stay inside and get cosy on our couch. Working out, however, is proven to help improve our immune system. Try to squeeze in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week (a brisk walk counts!). If facing the cold is too much for you, there are plenty of ways you can exercise at home – Youtube is your friend.
Get some sun. Being exposed to the sun is what allows our bodies to create vitamin D and this vitamin has many effects on cells within the immune system. Make sure to catch some rays if the sun is out. Since that can be a rare sight in winter time in central/northern Europe, talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplementation.
Minimize stress. You knew this was coming, didn’t you? It almost feels like stress is the cause of ; that’s not far off from the truth: according to a study, 75% of all doctor visits in the USA are for stress-related issues. The production of stress hormones is actually vital for our survival: stress is energy that we need to face a difficult situation. It’s when that stress becomes chronic that it becomes problematic, and unfortunately many of us are chronically stressed. How you manage stress is very personal, and you will need to figure out what works for you. Some ideas: spending more time in nature, doing yoga, doing an activity that takes you away.
A healthy lifestyle will do much more than helping you avoid a cold. The WHO states that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. By working on your lifestyle, you certainly move further and further away from illness, but most importantly, you move closer towards well-being.
If you are looking at the five recommendations above thinking “huh, easier-said-than done”, then reach out. Talk to me. I can help you get on the right path, but you’ll be the one steering the wheel and making up the rules.
This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.