We tend to get sick during the holiday season and think this is just normal and what happens. The Flu is big during this time of year and do not forget about the pandemic we are in right now. But getting sick during the Holidays is NOT normal and does not have to be this way.
Let’s dive into what happens during this time of year and then we will learn 5 tips to keep your immune system strong and healthy for the rest of this Holiday season and winter.
Did you know that Sugar can lower the immune system for up to 5 hours? And what happens during the Holiday Season… Let’s start with Halloween (sugar), then Thanksgiving (pies and sugar), then you have the month of December and Christmas a- parties and lots of sweets (sugar). It is no wonder we get sick during the Holidays. And let’s talk about the Stress that happens during the holidays. Fitting everything in with parties, decorating, shopping on top of everything else that you have going on.
Let’s just say our immune system is going to stay lowered this time of year compared to the rest of the year from eating more sugar. And then you add more stress during the holidays…. And BAM! You can start to see why we get sick during this time of year!
But what can we do to help keep our immune system strong during the Holiday season?
Here are my 5 tips for you to stay healthy and strong
1. Eat more plants.
Plants help improve your gut health which is where 70% of our immune system is located. We have good bacteria in our gut and guess what they feed off of? You guessed it. Plants.
Meats, processed foods, sugar can harm your microbiome (good gut bacteria). These foods can actually be destructive to your gut. So, if you can eat more plants, your body will stay healthier and stronger during the holiday season.
How do you eat healthy at the holiday parties? You bring a healthy dish so you can eat your dish mostly. This will help you stay on track. Another tip is to eat before you go to a party, so you are not as hungry, making you less likely to eat unhealthy foods. It is okay for you to have a treat sometimes. Just try to minimize this as much as possible during the holiday season. Your body will thank you!
2. Get more sleep.
Our body heals when we sleep. If you do not get enough sleep or you have a bad night’s sleep, then your body will not be running optimally. Your immune system will be lowered. Your ability to take on more stress will be harder.
Studies have shown that people who don’t get good quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.
Things you can do to help you get better sleep, is to go to bed at the same time each night. Do not eat 3-4 hours before going to bed. Eating late can be a problem as you are digesting your food which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Limit your alcohol intake. This also can wake you up around 3 am as the alcohol is being metabolized in your body and creating problems in your sleep cycle. It takes about 4-5 hours to metabolize the alcohol in your body.
3. Drink Water.
Most of us walk around dehydrated. Seventy percent of our body is made up of water. Getting enough water helps our body’s digestion, absorption, circulation, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
I can tell you when you get hydrated and it can take you 3-4 days of consistent drinking of enough water to really notice a difference in your joints, sleep, recovery and so much more. How much is enough water? Your pee needs to look like a light yellow or clear.
Suggestions of getting enough water. Keep water next to your bed and drink a bottle when you wake up. Keep a water bottle with you in your car, at your office so you will keep on drinking water.
4. Stay Active.
Our bodies are meant to move. Exercise can help strengthen your immune system and help you fight viral and bacterial infections. Exercise increases blood flow, reduces stress and inflammation, and can strengthen antibodies.
A bonus with exercise is it also will help with your sleep. When you exercise you also tend to eat healthier, than when you do not. But be careful because if you over exercise, this can actually harm your immune system. It is why people who train for marathons, when they get close to their marathon date, they get sick. Your body gets too exhausted, and you will catch whatever is going around.
5. Reduce your Sugar intake.
Like I said at the beginning of this blog post, sugar will lower your immune system for 5 hours! There are great ways to find other treats that are healthier. For example, if you like ice cream, make a smoothie that is healthy.
Cut up fruit. This can be a treat that is healthier. Yes, fruits have sugar, but so do vegetables too. Fruit also has fiber which helps sugar slowly get absorbed into the body. You will not have a sugar spike. Fruit also has all the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that help our immune system stay strong.
Make healthier versions of your treats. This is still a treat, but there are some amazing options out there to make healthier versions of your favorite treats.
Without your health, you have nothing. We plan for retirement with saving money so we can live. But do you plan for your health! You can have all the money in the world, if you do not have your health, you are not living.
We only have one body to live in, so it is vital to take care of that body.
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