12 Jul Tips for staying healthy this winter!Reading Time: 4 minutes
Winter has hit! Its cold dark and gloomy! I struggle so much at this time of year, let alone if I am to get a cold or flu. If you have been in for your usual adjustment at Movement Studio and heard me this week, I apologise for my lack of voice and my terrible Elmo impersonation.
We tend to get the flu in winter because our immune systems are depleted from a combination of heavier diets, lack of exercise and exposure to sunshine.
There are so many ways to fight off an illness both natural and medicinal some of my favourites are detailed below.
Popping a different type of pill – Supplements:
Disclaimer: If you are taking any medications or other natural supplements please consult your doctor or health practitioner to avoid any negative interactions.
Vitamin C – Helps to heal cuts and bruises and also supports our adrenals when we are under stress, but we all know and love it for its immune boosting properties. It helps with our white blood cells, which help to fight off all the illness causing viruses and bacteria, it also helps our bodies to produce important antibodies which neutralises all the nasty bugs and fight them off.
Zinc – An important trace element in supporting the immune system, there are many different white blood cells that make up our immune system, T lymphocytes are one of these. Zinc has been shown to boost T lymphocytes and therefore immune system activity.
Echinacea – Stimulates the immune system and may prevent upper respiratory tract infections as well as treating them. May also be beneficial for wound healing and skin irritations such as eczema and psoriasis.
Olive Leaf Extract – As the name suggests comes from the leaves of the olive tree, the active ingredient is oleuropein. Olive leaf inactivates viruses and makes them incapable of replication, which stops the growth and gives the body more time to fight and destroy them. It also stimulates phagocytes the cells responsible for eating the dangerous bacteria or other unfriendly organisms.
Foods as Fuels to help fight infections:
Eat the rainbow – It’s the best way to get all of the above vitamins and minerals into our body, we can then use supplements to top them up in times of need. Soups, broths warming foods are also great when we are feeling unwell and don’t have a huge appetite.
Ginger – Is a natural antibacterial and helps support natural immune function.
Horseradish – Is super high in vitamin C and antioxidants so is great for boosting the immune system, is delicious to eat so that’s an added bonus!!
Garlic – Has been used for centuries due to its anti viral and anti bacterial properties, garlic is great for prevention and for decreasing the duration of the common cold, plus is so easy to cook with and makes everything taste amazing.
Lemon – There are so many reasons people love squeezing lemon into their water, it contains lots of vitamin C, boosts the immune system, also great for the digestive system.
Honey – Raw honey contains a natural fruit sugar, which will provide your body with a stable source of energy, and is well known for its anti fungal and antibacterial properties.
When you are feeling under the weather there is nothing better than a nice hot cup of water, add some lemon and honey, the lemon will work some magic on congestion with the added bonus of vitamin C and honey will soothe a dry sore throat naturally.
Salt water gargle – Is a natural anti viral agent for the throat, be sure to use high quality salt such and pink Himalayan and warm water, can often provide some pain relief to a scratchy throat also.
Last but not least:
Chiropractic adjustments – Removing interference from your nervous system allowing you to function optimally.
Exercise – Helps to promote lymphatic drainage and increase blood flow, as well as getting out into sunshine and getting some much needed Vitamin D. It also raises our body temperature temporarily, which may allow us to fight the infection better, similar to when we have a fever.
Water Intake – Drinking plenty of water ensures your blood will carry plenty of oxygen to your cells, so you can function at your best. It allows your kidneys to remove toxins, and allows your cells to take up nutrients. If we don’t drink enough toxins may build up weakening our immune system.
Essential Oils –My favourite oils to diffuse when sick are by Doterra. They have an On Guard blend, which is great for immunity, and Easy Air, which really aids in breathing and congestion on the chest. I pop a few drops in my diffuser over night with some lavender and it helps me to sleep.
Fresh Air, keeping warm, hygiene and rest – This might seem like an obvious one, but getting outside or opening a window and not allowing the air within your environment to become stale or stagnant is great for beating those nasty bugs but also for our headspace!
Keeping warm, washing hands and being mindful of hygiene where possible is often the easiest way to prevent the spread of all the colds and flus that surround us this winter. Rest is vital to our recovery, early nights and aiming for 8 hours of sleep is crucial in kicking that cold to the curb.
Hope this helps to get you through the cold winter months feeling fit and healthy.