You’re in it right now as we speak.
The perfect storm for getting sick.
This time of year begins to set us all up for increased odds of illness. You know it as the “cold and flu season”. Newsflash: There’s no “season” for colds and flu. Do you honestly think that the cold and flu viruses are like the birds that fly south for the winter? Do they have an innate timer that says it’s time to go to North America for the next 3-4 months? Then where do they go after that?
What’s more likely is that we are in that perfect storm of illness, or more correctly, the perfect storm of lowered immune response. Why? Good question. Read on for that and how to beat it.
- Vitamin D. This time of year we get exposed to less and less sunshine, which equates to lower and lower vitamin D levels. Vitamin D levels are directly related to immune response. Supplement with a solid Vitamin D3 to combat it. I personally take about 4000 IU a day.
- Stress. Especially this month, during the Christmas season, we are exposed to more stress. Holiday parties, shopping, extra cooking, hosting gatherings, dealing with family members that rub you wrong etc. All of this adds to your stress levels, releasing more cortisone in your body, thus reducing your immune systems ability to recognize and fight off bacteria and viruses. Take time to slow down, sit back and enjoy the season. Watch a good Christmas movie with the family. Maybe go to the mall just to watch the people and enjoy the decorations. Take time to relax
- Exercise. The less than ideal weather for being outside tends to make us less active. Sitting on our backsides leads to decreased immune response and exercise has been shown to improve immunity. And, linking back to the stress issue, exercise reduces the effects of stress on your body. So move it regularly!
- Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. There’s just so much more of it available during the holidays. There’s definitive links between sugar and the immune system.. Unfortunately, every time we turn around this season there’s more chance to consume more sugar. So, when NOT at a holiday event, be sure to fuel yourself smartly! Eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies, drink hot teas, plain coffees, lots of water (yes we can be well underhydrated in the winter) and avoid too many sugar or processed treats! Focus on planning out your meals to reduces unhealthy binging!
So, that’s why we have this “season”, and how to battle it out while it’s here. Pick two of these to work on, then once those are part of your lifestyle, work on some more!
Until next time….Be well!