STAYING HEALTHY DURING COLD & FLU SEASON
Whether you're preparing for that inevitable cold front, traveling to a wintry wonderland, or just want to steer clear of those pesky viruses, check out these five practical tips for staying healthy in the winter season.
1. Stay Active. Keep it moving! Sweating it out with twenty minutes of cardio, getting a deep stretch in yoga, or blasting those muscles with some heavy weight action keeps the blood moving. It will turn up the internal thermostat, help to purge some toxins, and you'll sleep better at night. No excuses! Just knock it out once a day, dedicating yourself to fitness and FUN.
2. Wash Your Hands. Nasty germs like to multiply and destroy! Prevent their invasion by keeping the battlefield clean. It can be helpful to carry a few wipes in your car or purse for encounters of the evil kind. You know when that cashier is sick when she hands you some change with red eyes and a sniffle. Give your hands a quick once over. If you're traveling, grab an antiseptic wipe to cleanse your arm rests, tray, electronics, luggage handles, or any shared objects as necessary. This isn't the time to take chances.
3. Stay Hydrated. Teas, kombucha, broths, fresh pressed juices, coconut water or good ol' filtered water with lemon can help to replenish lost electrolytes and keep dehydration at bay. Give yourself a break from caffeine by reducing your intake each day. If you're experiencing a bout of dry mouth, take note- it's the first sign of impaired hydration and your cells are having to work overtime to maintain a healthy body temperature, remove waste and lubricate your joints. Carry something with you to whet the whistle and sip frequently.
4. Boost Your Immune System. Show your body some love! Taking an extra 2000mg of Vitamin D and Vitamin C can make a world of difference during these shorter days. Add in a few extra doses of Probiotics or Zinc to fight off that tickle in your throat. Flush your sinuses with a salt rinse or saline spray at the first sneeze. Kick up your recipes with some fresh Garlic, Turmeric, and Ginger. Make sure to keep up with 7 - 8 servings of fresh fruit and veggies each day, avoiding processed sugar like the plague. Sugar will suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.
5. Rest. Hibernation isn't just for bears! Get your required zzz's - an average of 7 - 8 hours each night activates deep healing and cellular repair. Step away from daily stressors that aren't worth your time and energy. Annoyed with someone in the workplace? Family won't stop calling? Plans keep changing? Exercise your white flag, give yourself permission to be happy, put your phone down, and take some time for YOU. Schedule time to recharge in your sanctuary, get a massage or take a nap. Trust me, you'll feel better in the long run.
Already down and out? Those sneaky viral critters move fast! Here's a quick recipe for a speedy recovery and symptomatic relief.
Gather a cinnamon stick, the juice and rind of one organic lemon, 2 - 3 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger, and enough filtered water to cover all ingredients in a small sauce pan or tea kettle. Bring it to a boil, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Strain and drink as a tea, adding a dab of local or manuka honey if needed.
* This recipe can also be made with green tea for added antioxidants. Sip up!