This time of year we see flu, strep throat, and other illnesses popping up with more frequency. With the holidays upon us, stress levels often go up and the body’s ability to fight illness goes down.
The things you do to stay healthy through the holidays happen to be the same things you do year-round, but more vigilant attention to good habits is needed when stress is high. Establishing healthy lifestyle habits is the key to consistent and lasting health.
Here are some tips that may be common sense, but may not be common practice. They are worth repeating.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Wash your hands frequently (but not obsessively). Too much anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer can actually have the opposite effect of keeping the body from building up immunity. So, wash hands after using the bathroom, before and after preparing meals, after exposure to sick individuals and when the situation warrants it, but don’t overdo.
- Eat the rainbow of vegetables and fruits every day (lots of colors and variety). Vegetables and fruits are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that will boost your immune system and improve the health of every system in your body. One-third of your plate at every meal should be vegetables for optimum health.
- Get your sleep! This is a tough one to stick to when your to-do list grows, but anything less than 7 hours consistently (8 is better) is NOT enough, no matter who you are! The body heals and regenerates during sleep, so it’s critical to get enough.
- Drink lots of water daily. Keeping the body hydrated helps every system function properly and move toxins out. I recommend that you drink half your weight in ounces each day. If you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking 70 ounces of water daily.
- Get your exercise! This is also tough to stick with when stressed, but it is so important for stress relief, mood, and energy. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which help you feel better about life! It also keeps your body functioning and moving properly.
- Cut out sugar in all forms as much as possible. Too much sugar causes a host of health problems, including insulin resistance, weight gain, hormone imbalances and more.
- Eat a variety of mushrooms. These are known for helping to boost the immune system.
- Add some Vitamin C to your water or smoothie. Vitamin C fights infections and strengthens the immune system. For quality supplements, click here: http://livinghealthmd.ehealthpro.com
- Get your Vitamin D level tested and then supplement as needed. Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and helps the bones absorb calcium. A “normal” Vitamin D level is 30-100, but a level of 60 or higher is ideal. Vitamin D3 drops are a simple supplement to take. 1000-2000IU daily is a good dose for adults, with an upper limit of 4000IU. Come see us at Living Health MD for testing and a specific recommendation based on your Vitamin D level.
- Practice stress-reducing techniques like deep breathing, meditation, massage, stretching, and yoga. All of these practices are soothing to the mind and body and help with the release of toxins.
When you adopt these practices as a regular part of your lifestyle, you will see immediate improvement in your overall health, and your susceptibility to both common and chronic illnesses will drop.
If you are seeking relief from chronic illness, Dr. Drew Christensen at Living Health MD will take the time to get to the root cause of your issues. Dr. Christensen has helped hundreds of patients make lifestyle changes to improve and even reverse many chronic illnesses. Set up an appointment today by calling 928-424-4505 or visit our website at www.LivingHealth.MD for more information.