’Tis the season for fun and festivities, and also for colds and flu. Feeling under the weather is frustrating at any time of the year, but especially so when there is celebrating to do! We don’t want to miss out on any of the fun, and we don’t want you to either - so here are a few tips to boost your immune system for a healthy and happy holiday season:
Keep exercising - We know life gets busy with shopping, planning and celebrating, but your immune system will thank you for continuing to carve out time to train during the holidays. Exercise can help reduce inflammation, and the muscle contractions that occur during exercise increase blood and lymph flow, allowing for better circulation of immune-rich cells. The more consistent you are with regular training, the better and longer lasting those effects, so even talking brisk walks on days you can’t make it to the gym will help.
Massage your Guts- Speaking of mobilizing lymph, we love including daily self massage with the Coregeous Ball! The gut is the most abundant spot for lymph in the body, which is rich in disease-fighting immune cells. Movement around these lymph ducts helps move those immune cells into the bloodstream where they can help fight infections. As a bonus, rolling with the Coregeous Ball can help you breathe better, digest better, massages your abdominal muscles and organs, and help you experience deep relaxation by stimulating the Vagus Nerve! There are so many benefits to doing abdominal massage, the only question is why are we not doing it right now? If you don’t have a Coregeous Ball, you can pop by Breakthrough and pick one up!
Eat your Superfoods - Try to include as many foods as you can each day that are packed with antioxidants and vitamins: citrus fruits and dark berries; veggies like red bell pepper, broccoli, spinach, garlic and ginger; greek yogurt; green tea; Omega 3 fats. Staying hydrated is also important, so try to get a minimum of 2 liters of water a day.
Use a Humidifier - Just like hydration for your insides is crucial, keeping your living environment a little more humid can help keep you healthier. Colder air holds less moisture than warm air, so as temperatures drop the air gets drier, which often leads to dry nasal passages, dry eyes and chapped lips. Not only does dry air tend to allow viruses to survive better, it also decreases our ability move along the gunk that can clog our airways if we do end up catching a cold. Using a humidifier in the bedroom while you are sleeping will add some moisture to the air overnight when the temperatures are coldest (and driest) and will possibly help you sleep better too!
Get your Rest - We know it’s easier said than done, but try to set yourself up for 7-8 hours of sleep a night. When you are sleep deprived, your body produces fewer infection fighting antibodies, and fewer cytokines. Cytokines are a protein released by your immune system during sleep, and when your body is stressed for any reason (including fighting off a bug) you need even more of them to stay healthy. All the more reason to hibernate a little more during winter! Set a bedtime for yourself, and try to turn off screens at least an hour before you head to bed. Taking a hot bath, reading a book and gentle stretching can help you prepare for sleep. If you have a hard time falling or staying asleep, try a guided meditation or music - we love the Insight Timer app for this!
Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Fun Holiday Season from Your Breakthrough Team!