Last year I took two days off work, I was bed ridden with some sort of cold/flu, it took me two days but on the third I was up and back to my normal self, not only do I not get sick often, when I do, my body seems ti fight it off a lot quicker, and generally without the need for antibiotics. I have to thank a healthy lifestyle for this one. This all may be common sense to us folks, but the truth is really in pudding. So here's my top tips for staying sick free this winter:
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
I know what your thinking - 'it's so damn cold and dark outside Amy and I'd much prefer to say in bed where it's nice and warm'....and yes I also have the same thoughts sometimes, but I promise you, pulling yourself out of bed to go for a run or a walk really assists to keep your body & immune system strong. If you don't like being out in the cold, head to gym and ask a friend to join you for a regular workout to keep you motivated. Exercising increases levels of "soothing" brain chemicals like serotonin and in fact reduces the symptoms of depression, to help you banish those winter blues and keep you smiling through those chilly days. Exercise does not only work out your body, it's also a great workout for your brain and keeping fit and active provides better cognitive function. Not only does exercise make you feel great, it helps you have a great night's sleep too!
Be a tea drinker!
Echinacea tea is excellent for banishing colds as its antiviral & antibacterial and interestingly can raise levels of infection-fighting white blood cells (I'm actually drinking some right now!). Lemongrass & ginger tea is also a winner as it includes anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
You can also slice up some pieces of ginger, add some manuka honey and fresh lemon to hot water and Voilà! you have one badass home-made cold fighting delicious tea! In summer just add cold water fresh mint for a yummy iced tea.
Vitamin C is your new best friend!
Healthy eating is a big factor for your immune system, feeding your body with natural nutrients keeps you staying happy and healthy. Think of your body as a plant, if you don't water it often and kept it in the dark, it would be wilted and the leaves would be dull... If you watered the plant often, gave it sunlight and looked after it, it would flourish and be bright and vibrant - just like your body. If you are prone to catching a cold in the cooler months, boost your immune system with Vitamin C - found in broccoli, citrus fruits & kiwi fruit. Remember having Vitamin C in it's natural form is always best. Generally most of us you do not need supplements unless you need an extra boost every now and then if you are feeling a cold come on or are sick.
Rest & Relax
It's important to always dedicate some time for yourself to rest and relax, and it's especially important over winter to keep the immune system strong. If you are run down and tired, this will increase the likelihood of catching something. If you feel a cold coming on, try to rest straight away if possible, and have some tea or fruit or vegetables filled with Vitamin C to assist your immune system to banish the sickness.
Rug up like an Eskimo (maybe not an Eskimo, but stay warm)
Keeping your body warm (at a comfortable temperate) during winter can also decrease the likelihood of sickness. Eating healthy provides you with energy which keeps your body warm on the inside. Drink warm drinks, have warm meals such as soup and when you venture outside make sure you're dressed appropriately for the weather. As they do in Europe, layered clothing always works best!
Thoughts? Comments? I'd love to hear from you!
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