The leaves have fallen and now hot cider, sweaters, boots, egg nog and the cold and flu are now on our focus. Changing seasons surely comes with both the good and the bad. If you follow these tips you’ll be able to wear your favorite cozy sweater with pride, knowing you’re taking the best care of yourself and your family!
Some of these are obvious and others not so much. Make sure you’re actually implementing the obvious! ;)
Wash your hands
I said some were obvious, right? Wash your hands well and often. This is one of the top ways to prevent catching or spreading germs.
I’m not the biggest fan of the ingredients in hand sanitizers and try to limit my use of them – but if I’m around people who are sick, a bunch of kids, or ya know, the airport I’m not afraid to utilize this weapon!
And while we’re at it, stop touching your face so much. Yeah, you.
Don’t skimp on sleep
Sleeping enough is one of the best things you can do for your health- and even your weight loss! Before you chuck your phone across the room in rage-filled justification of your sleep debt, hear me out.
Studies show that lack of sleep not only makes you more susceptible to germs and viruses, but it also prolongs the length of your illness. Your immune system works in different ways while you’re sleeping, so skimping on your shuteye will prevent it from doing its job.
If you’re feeling rundown, one of the top things you can do is get some extra rest. Cancel your plans, dim the lights, and hit the sack early.
Get “just the right amount” of exercise
We need to apply the Goldilocks and the Three Bears theory to exercise and immunity.
- Just a little bit – under 5 minutes, at random (no routine) – isn’t effective
- Too much – vigorous, over 2 hours – actually depresses immune system function
- The “just right” spot was moderately vigorous exercise for less than an hour
Making this a regular habit has the biggest impact. Even exercising as little as one day per week produced a significant decrease in colds according to this study, and 5 times a week boosted immune response even more!
Finally, resistance training packs the strongest punch for keeping you healthy!
Start lacing up your sneaks ASAP because The Fit Tutor is filled with the “just right” workouts! Mmm…. exercise.
Eat more of these things
70% of your immunity is in your gut, so don’t limit your thoughts surrounding what you eat to just weight loss or gain!
Protein is essential for building our immune cells and antibodies. Make sure you’re eating plenty of high-protein foods daily so your body can build your immune system.
Pre-and-Probiotics will help build up healthy bacteria in your gut to help fight infection and inflammation. Pre-biotic-rich foods include:
- asparagus, garlic, onions
- oats, quinoa, wheat
- potatoes and yams
- apples, bananas, berries, citrus fruits
- flax and chia seeds
Foods rich in probiotics include
- dairy like yogurt, cheese, kefir
- fermented foods like pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, soy sauce, miso, tempeh, wine (!)
- supplements, like Garden of Life
Eat the Rainbow
Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to make sure your body has all the nutrients it needs to function properly!
Chicken soups are packed with protein and vitamins which can improve your body’s ability to fight colds. They also have potential ant-inflammatory effects, which could reduce cold symptoms. Go ahead and make a healthy version, and utilize this grandma-approved method of fighting colds!
And spices like garlic, ginger, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects, so add them to as much as you can this season!
And Supplement if you want to
With all the supplements that claim to help you fight off colds, zinc is the one with the most research behind it. Zinc and sipping on some green tea can help fight off colds and reduce the severity of symptoms. And if you’re not eating the rainbow, perhaps a multi-vitamin would help.
Others that are very promising: ginseng, elderberry extract, vitamin C, and vitamin D. That being said, don’t overpay for an “immune boosting” supplement with a pricey label at the store!
Before you supp, talk to your doctor about how they might affect any medications or to get the scoop on the best way to get them into your diet.
Diffusing Essential Oils may help, too
Diffusing essential oils can help you fight colds, the flu, and even help disinfect your house! Although from what I can tell, most of the studies proving their effectiveness have been paid for by the EO companies themselves. Research is hopeful these can be an affordable, natural way to help fight infection. Bonus, diffusing makes your house smell heavenly!
Here are some of oils that have cold-fighting properties:
- —-> These are often combined in an immunity blend from most EO retailers
This is not an exhaustive list, but is enough to get you started. I diffuse an immunity blend daily to help stay healthy and make my home smell like fall!
If you have kiddos, make sure you read up on what’s safe for them before you buy.
Drink booze only in moderation
Oopsy, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but drinking in excess (+ 8 drinks/week for women, +15 for men- or +4 in two-hours) can affect your body’s ability to fight off infection and reduces your number of T Cells.
As stated before, red wine has some health benefits and can potentially boost your immunity – hooray! Perhaps reaching for some mulled red wine could actually fight off colds?
- Try these organic mulling spices!
* contains an affiliate link to help grow TFT!
If you drink, keep it in moderation so you can fight off those colds like the ninja you are. If you drink regularly and keep getting sick, try to cut back and see how that helps!
Reduce your stress
This would solve all of life’s problems, right? Chronic stress (think: you’re stressed or anxious most of the time) weakens your immune system, reducing its ability to fight infections and making you more susceptible to illness. Stress hormones can reduce your number of white blood cells, affect digestion, and exhaust your nervous system.
Actively try to reduce your stress, or take some time to recoup when you feel anxious. Drink calming tea, take a bath, meditate for 5 minutes, exercise– do whatever helps you calm down. Make it a routine so the negative effects of stress don’t make you sick!
I’m sure you knew several of these tips already, but ya know, sometimes you need a little research behind it to kick your booty into gear to actually do it!
Here’s to a healthy fall and winter!
If you feel stuck on your way to your transformation, contact me and let’s chat! The Fit Tutor is an online resource that comes with coaching to help you get past your roadblocks and all the confusing health and fitness advice to simplify your journey – and get you results!