This is a guest post from Chris at zentofitness.com. Zen to Fitness writes articles about Health, Fitness, Vitality and Good Eating. Make sure to check out Zen to Fitness.
Its that time of the year; Colds, runny noses and coughs are all about us and despite your best attempts to stay healthy its inevitable you will one day cross paths with the wrong person and catch a nasty little bug. Not to fear though all cold’s can be stopped in their tracks by following a few easy steps when you start to feel things coming on…..
On Monday I started feeling a little under the weather while at work, I braved it through the day and now I’m feeling great, I never let the bug take hold of me and I was feeling tip top all week. This was in part thanks to a few simple things I did as soon as I felt something was attacking my immune system. In years gone by I would have probably been in bed drinking lemon and honey tea. Not this year!
1- Clock in your 9 Hours
In an ideal world you want to be getting this much sleep every night anyway, It will not only get your hormones in shape allowing you to burn fat and build muscle but it will also allow your mind to rewind and clear all the clutter and stress from the day gone by.
This becomes doubly important when your feeling under the weather or like a cold is coming on as on top of all this sleep is the time in which your body will heat up and kill the virus’s that are attacking your immune system and giving you that sniffly nose!
2- Eat A Light Breakfast
The morning is your natural time of detox, therefore its best to stay away from large meals that will put strain on your digestive system. Go for something high in water and minerals. I like to start the day off with a herbal tea with half a lemon squeezed in, this doesn’t only give you a vitamin C boost which will help combat the infection it will also re-hydrate you after the nights sleep.
This excerpt from the Warrior Diet is great:
Contrary to what you may be told, morning is the worst time to eat. When you wake-up, your body is already in an intense detox mode, clearing itself from endotoxins and digestive waste of the past evening meal. During the morning hours, when digestion is fully completed (while you are on empty stomach), a primal survival mechanism, known as fight or flight reaction to stress, is triggered maximizing your body’s capacity to generate energy, be alert, resist fatigue and resist stress.
Try and stick to some fruit and nuts along with some herbal tea and maybe an espresso if you feel like a cold is coming on. This will help your body detox and flush out the virus speeding up your recovery and stopping the bug getting hold of you!
My Favorite light breakfast is a bowl of Blueberries mixed with a handful of raw nuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I usually have this with an espresso made from organic coffee.
3- Zinc, Zinc, Zinc
This stuff is key to your immune system:
Many types of immune cells appear to depend upon zinc for optimal function. Researchers have studied the effects of zinc deficiency (and zinc supplementation) on immune response and number of white blood cells, including specific studies on T lymphocytes, macrophages, and B cells (all types of white blood cells). In these studies, zinc deficiency has been shown to compromise white blood cells numbers and immune response, while zinc supplementation has been shown to restore conditions to normal.
Its found in abundance in foods like Nuts, Seeds and some greens like broccoli. I would suggest taking a good dose of Zinc at times when your immune system feels compromised. A good supplement to take to make sure your not Zinc deficient is ZMA it will not only help you sleep better and give you a good dose of vital Magnesium but it will cover your Zinc needs and keep your immune system running well all year round.
4- Get Walking
When you start feeling unwell its best to stop any vigorous exercise, Instead replace it with a couple brisk walks everyday. This will facilitate the function of the lymphatic symptom which is key to flushing out toxins and getting you on the road to recovery.
Drop your regular fitness routine until you feel 100% and instead replace it with the following:
-Light stretching and some Body weight work upon waking. Include a few sets of pushups and body weight squats along with some light stretching. I would recommend some Yoga poses. This will help the flow of blood around your body not only energizing you but getting your mind ready for the day in hand.
-Two to Three 10 Minute Brisk walks a day in an ideal world these would come before each main meal of the day. Soak up the fresh air and sun if your lucky enough to have it, Go for a walk on your lunch break there is nothing better than getting away from your working environment for a while and just being in the moment outside!
5- Nature’s Vitamin C
Vitamin C is vital to fight off any infections and to me there is no better way to get it than from some fresh fruit. Things like Orange’s, Kiwi’s and Berries are packed with the stuff. Take Advantage! Not only do these foods taste great but they will stop you getting a cold and help you fight one away.
Get creative; I have been making fruit and nut salads with diced up oranges, Kiwi’s and Cranberries topped with some Manuka Honey and chopped nuts. Not only is this delicious and something the whole family will enjoy, its also cheap and easy to make!
Putting it Together…..
This is by no means meant to be a medical guide, its just a collection of my favorite tips for when you start feeling something coming on (blocked sinus’s, headache, sniffly nose, croaky voice) following these tips could help you fight things off in a matter of hours rather than days….
- Sleep for 8-10 hours
- Eat a breakfast of Fruit and Nuts plus plenty of Water and Tea
- Get your Zinc in!
- Exercise light and early, get some fresh air
- Eat Fruit high in Vitamin C
Its that simple and could keep you cold and flu free this winter!
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