Being sick isn’t any fun. Try to avoid it this year.
No one wants to get sick.
You’re busy enough already…can you really afford to take time off?
I’m sure just thinking about it gives you a headache.
I can’t promise you’ll never get sick, and maybe you’ve been sick already this season, but these tips can certainly improve your chances of spending fewer days feeling miserable…and trying to catch-up when you feel better.
To strengthen your immune system:
1) Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar depresses your immune system by making it harder for your white blood cells to fight off potential infections. You probably already know that you should be cutting down on your sugar intake, especially refined sugar in baked goods, soda, desserts, candy, and syrups.
What you might not be taking into account is that your body essentially treats refined grain products like bread, cereal, and granola essentially the same way as sugar.
Most dairy products also contain a significant amount of sugar in the form of lactose.
2) Avoid Chronic Cardio
You certainly want to walk and move around on a daily basis, but moderate-to-high intensity cardio exercise too often can actually compromise your immune system and increase oxidative stress. You’re also increasing your cortisol (stress hormone) levels if you push yourself too often for too long.
Weight training workouts are more effective and less likely to have those effects.
3) Get Enough Sleep
You probably don’t need to be told – AGAIN! – that you’re not getting enough sleep, but I have to do it anyway. Not sleeping enough (7-9hrs) makes your more susceptible to illness.
4) Eat More Vegetables
It’s the most boring nutrition advice out there, but it’s almost universally agreed that vegetables improve your health. They contain antioxidants and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a strong immune system.
5) Take Vitamin D
A couple of decades ago there was lots of talk about vitamin C helping your immune system, but vitamin D actually appears to be the nutrient that matters more. Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight, something that’s unlikely to happen in the winter if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.
Although you can probably safely take more than the recommended amounts of vitamin D (some Functional Medicine doctors believe the guidelines are 10X too low!), it’s a good idea to get a blood test done initially to assess your vitamin D levels.
Follow the tips I’ve given you and you’ll be less likely to end up in bed feeling as weak as a kitten (a kitten that also coughs, sneezes, and perhaps even vomits!).
Let’s make it a healthier winter season this year.Get enough sleep
Eat more vegetables
Take vitamin D