As the chilly autumn comes to its end and the icy winter days draw near, many of us will begin to sniffle and sneeze. Some of us may even get sick.
That's because when it's cold outside, our immune systems weaken - and when we have a weak immune system, our bodies become susceptible to viruses in the air.
When we actively keep our immune systems strong, our bodies have an easier time fighting off illnesses - meaning next time your coworker sneezes, you can feel confident that you can avoid catching that virus and stay healthy.
These are my 5 tried-and-true tips to protect your body from sicknesses this winter season. (And this goes for the kiddos, too!)
Tip #1: Eat the Right...
Eating the right foods is not solely about losing weight, it's also about staying healthy and keeping your immune system vigorous. The best way to strengthen your immune system is to eat whole, natural foods that provide you with an assortment of vitamins. The worst thing you can do is load up on only one type of vitamin, like vitamin C. Your body needs more than one vitamin to function - it needs a variety of vitamins from A to Z.
So load up on nutritious foods to get you through the harsh winter in tip-top shape.
Tip #2: Stay Hydrated with...
Staying hydrated with water is a crucial part of protecting your body. Since we thrive on water, it's important to drink a lot throughout the day in order to avoid dehydration.
The moment you feel the sensation of thirst, your body is already in the stages of dehydration.
So make sure you don't get to that level! Drinking water will not only fill you up and aid your digestion, it also helps your kidneys function properly. Our kidneys have a few crucial purposes in our body - they remove the waste from our blood, balance body fluids, and flush out toxins. Without enough water, our kidneys are unable to function properly and do their important jobs to keep you healthy.
Tip #3: Incorporate More...
Incorporate more Greek yogurt into your meals and/or snacks. Real Greek yogurt not only provides your body with healthy fats and protein, it also contains very little sugar and sodium, which is perfect for wonderfully balanced snack or breakfast.
Aside from its nutritional benefits, it is also known that Greek yogurt has an abundance of probiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms, AKA good bacteria that can have a positive effect on digestion, oral health, and even fight off bad bacteria that cause the common cold or flu.
Tip #4: Maintain a Healthy Mind and Body with...
One of my golden rules is that 80% of your health efforts should be focused on the foods you eat, and the other 20% should be focused on exercise and workouts. Since 20% is significantly smaller than 80%, exercise is sadly often neglected.
Staying physically active is not only important for your weight loss goals, but also your overall health. Exercise can help clear and strengthen your lungs, increase your white blood cell count to fight off disease earlier, and lower your stress hormone levels to keep your body calm.
Sticking to a daily regimen is the ideal way to make sure you don't skip a beat when it comes to moving your body. Whether it's a walk after work, morning yoga, or a hike on the weekend, be sure to make it a permanent routine.
Tip #5: Get Enough...
Being a mom and having a regular sleep schedule sounds like a fantasy to some. But I can tell you, as a mom of two rambunctious boys, once I implemented my sleep schedule into my life, I saw a world of difference. You know how, on an airline, the flight attendant recites the safety instructions on how to place an air mask on yourself before your loved ones, in case of emergency? Well, getting enough sleep is the same idea - it's me taking care of myself first, so I can be stronger and healthier for my family when they need me most.
Lack of sleep can have some unpleasant side effects ranging from lack of concentration, forgetfulness, and confusion, all the way to weakened immune system, heart disease, weight gain, and depression.
So catch those ZZZs and make sure you start the day fresh and energized to fight off the common winter illnesses.