The Top Things You can do to Stay Healthy this Fall/Winter
With the coronavirus not going away anytime soon and flu/cold season approaching, many people have asked us how they can stay healthy during this time. Our first answer is always to get back to the basics! Your health is built upon the foundation of your healthy or unhealthy habits.
How is your sleep? Are you getting 7-9 hours per night? Sleep is foundational for a properly functioning immune system, cognition, memory, and helping decrease pain in the body. Proper sleep hygiene can greatly improve our quality of sleep and therefor our quality of life. Below are some tips for creating positive sleep habits.
- Establish regular sleep and wake times
- Avoid napping during the day
- Avoid stimulant such as coffee, nicotine, and alcohol close to bedtime
- Avoid eating large quantities close to bedtime
- Exercise regularly in the morning to late afternoon
- Keep your bedroom, cool, quiet, and dark at night
How much water are you drinking per day? Aim to consume half your body weight in oz- and no your soda, energy drink, or coffee do not count! The average 160lb human should drink 80oz of water per day. Water should be spring, bottled, or reverse-osmosis with electrolytes added back in. Your body is composed of 60% water and it in critical for normalizing blood pressure, preventing constipation, cushioning joints, aiding digestion, and much more!
You are what you eat! Literally, it becomes you. Are you getting 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day? The phytonutrients and antioxidants present in colorful fruits and vegetables are incredibly important for the optimal functioning of our bodies specifically our immune system. Try adding vegetables to every meal and aim for half your plate to be fruit and vegetables.
Supplementation can be important to give your immune system the extra boost it needs. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and reduced the oxidative stress on the body. It contributes to immune defense by supporting the epithelial barrier again pathogens, stimulating immune cells to kill microbes, and enhanced clearance of damaged cells. Top foods with vitamin C include bell peppers, orange, kiwis, and strawberries.
Vitamin D is another powerful immune booster. Immune cells have receptors for vitamin D and can modulate the immune system. Deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with increased susceptibility to infection and increased rates of autoimmunity. Over 40% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient! Top foods with vitamin D are fish, egg yolk, and mushrooms. You can also make your own vitamin D by exposing at least 40% of your skin to sunlight for 20 minutes per day.