Doesn’t it seem a cruel irony that the holiday season corresponds with cold and flu season? As the weather gets colder and the twinkle lights come out, we’re all hoping our immune systems are ready to fight the airborne assault of germs headed our way. Compounding the problem is all our indoor time without fresh air and the germy surfaces we touch (ticket counters, airplanes, rental cars and escalators at shopping malls). While there’s no way to guarantee you’ll feel fantastic on Christmas morning, there are things you can do to give your immune system a fighting chance.
- If you’re planning to get a flu shot, do it early. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to trigger your body to make antibodies to fight this year’s strain, so don’t wait until the day before you plan to travel to get it done. The shot you received last year only lasts up to 12 months, so don’t assume it’ll carry you through.
- Keep your healthy routines despite your shifting schedule. Be sure you get plenty of sleep every night, and continue your regular exercise schedule no matter how busy things get. When planning your day, start with the most important things (at least 30 minutes of some kind of cardio) and pencil in your holiday activities around them. That way, you’ll be more likely to take good care of yourself despite your hectic schedule.
- Stay hydrated! We typically associate thirst with the warmer weather months, but it’s just as easy to get dehydrated during the winter. You might not even realize you’re thirsty. Be sure to carry water wherever you go while running errands, decorating and shopping. Set a goal of drinking a certain number of bottles/glasses each day and stick to it.
- Reduce stress with adequate planning. Use your phone or planner to set reminders that will keep your plans on schedule. Check the weather before you leave and allow yourself plenty of time for travel to avoid anxiety. Stress has been linked to illness and disease, so pace yourself, remember to breathe and find ways to streamline as much of your schedule as possible. (For example, try to make only right turns when running errands in an “out-and-back” pattern. Left-hand turns take longer and are more stressful.)
- Make optimal nutrition a priority during the holidays. You’ve probably got Vitamin D (less sunlight) and Vitamin C on your mind, but what about Coenzyme Q10 (found in seven Reliv products) that helps your body convert carbs and fat into energy and supports the immune system? What about Pycnogenol® (in Reliv Now® and GlucAffect®), the natural super antioxidant that improves circulation and lowers blood glucose? And don’t forget the lunasin in LunaRich®, shown to help boost innate immunity. Give your body the nutrition it craves with Reliv!
When you make time to take proper care of your body, you are less likely to get blindsided by a virus during the holidays. As we approach the season for baking, wrapping and spreading cheer to others, take a few moments each day to focus on your health. You’ll enjoy the season that much more if you feel well!