Today’s fun fact – Autumn officially begins on Wednesday 20th of March!
Not only does this mean that we’re going to be exercising outdoors in THE most beautiful weather, but also that FLU SEASON is right around the corner.
There reality is that we all need to seriously “up our game” if we want to avoid the nasty superbugs that are predicted to seriously challenge our immune systems in a few weeks’ time.
It’s a good thing we have a PLAN and know exactly what to AVOID!
FIVE THINGS TO DO THIS AUTUMN TO STAY HEALTHY IN WINTER.
- Exercise in Autumn and throughout the Winter months
Did you know that physical activity helps to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways – thereby reducing your chance of getting colds and flu? True story. Exercise also increases the number of some immune cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body as a whole!
Action point: Maintain a sustained exercise program throughout Autumn and Winter – not only will you fight off infection more readily, but your summer body will also be ready to unveil in Spring!
- Use food as medicine
Supplements can definitely improve your health and boost your immune system – but the nutrition that is readily available in healthy food is unrivaled. Increase your consumption of foods rich in Vitamin C – broccoli, lemons, pawpaw, strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, green and red peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots.
Action point: Shop the “fresh” aisles when grocery shopping, and keep an eye on your “colour quotient” – make sure you have fruit and vegetables of every colour in your trolley.
- Minimize stress
This is a tough one, because there are times in life where we literally have to grit our teeth and get through it. That being said, we can definitely REDUCE our stress levels (and resulting cortisol) – largely through exercise, which also floods our brain with endorphins, and also by being conscious of what we fill our minds with.
Action point: Actively catch negative thoughts and replace them with gratitude – you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control the way you handle it. Also be sure to take DEEP BREATHS – stress of involves short shallow breathing, so flood your body with oxygen when possible!
- Wash your hands and stop touching your face
This is hands down one of the best things you can do to avoid getting sick! Wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, and after any contact with other people. Keep hand sanitizer in your bag, if necessary and don’t touch your face until your hands have been washed!
Action point: Buy hand sanitizer and don’t be shy about using it often. If travelling, buy antibacterial wipes and give your airplane tray table a clean, as well as your seat belt and arm rests. If travelling internationally, buy nasal Bactroban to use inside your nose to stop germs in their tracks!
- Don’t overdo the sugar and alcohol
Have you ever fallen ill after a day or two of “bingeing”? One of way of putting it is to think of sugar and alcohol as putting your immune system into a temporary coma. These two culprits are absolutely fine in moderation but are to be avoided when trying to stay healthy throughout winter.
Action point: Proceed with caution and keep these two treats to a minimum!
At the end of the day, there is so much we can do to ensure we are living our best lives in the colder months. Ain’t nobody got time for colds and flu!