Lately, it seems like everyone is getting the sick, and for some of you, that might mean a whole month of chronic sniffles as the weather cools. We may just assume that this is a normal seasonal side effect, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not!
Seasonal sniffles do not need to happen, and if you find that you’re falling victim to them like clockwork, it may be a sign of some greater imbalances in your system.
Compromised immunity can come from a lot of unexpected places — food sensitivities, stress, not eating for your body type, not staying warm enough, and of course, nutritional deficiencies.
With a few key upgrades to your eating and lifestyle, you can stay totally healthy and cold-free this season, and save those sick days for playing hooky and going to the spa or taking an impromptu day trip.
Here are the top 5 ways to boost your immunity and stay cold-free!
1. Supplement smartly. I don’t care who you are or how you eat, taking a high quality whole foods multivitamin (check out my faves here) and at least 4000 IU vitamin D3 are absolutely crucial to your immunity. You just can’t ensure that you’re getting enough of certain vital nutrients in your diet, and these puppies fill in the gaps, making sure you’re going strong. You’ll also want to up the ante after sniffly run-in’s. After flying, coming into contact with a sick friend, partner, or co-worker, you’ve gotta give your system an extra boost. Though Emergen-C and Airborne are the typical standby’s, I prefer Wellness Fizz, which is a little more natural (click here for my side-by-side comparison of all the best effervescent immunity boosters).
2. Eat whole, seasonal foods. Every season gives us a whole bounty of foods that are especially designed to support your body and immunity during that time. Load up on dark leafy greens like kale and boo choy, seasonal gourds and squashes, beans, and whole grains. This is your first defense against colds and flus!
3. Work it out. Moving your body is key for staying bug-free in the colder months. You sweat out toxins, increase your immunity, decrease stress, and boost endorphins, all of which work to lower your risk of catching whatever’s going around. Shoot for at least 3 1-hour workouts a week, or 5-6 20 minute quickies.
4. Decrease your stress. When I was an opera singer, I would get sick before almost every big performance. Bad news bears. I’m sure some of that was me subconsciously sabotaging career I wasn’t into, but an even bigger part was the stress. Chronic stress pretty much wipes out your immune system, so if you’re feelin’ it, this is the time to start that meditation practice (check out the Headspace app!), take those yoga classes, recommit to those nightly 8 hours of sleep, and indulge in some relaxing bubble baths at home.
5. Stay warm. Eating tons of raw foods, drinking ice cold beverages, or dressing inappropriately for the weather makes your body work so much harder to keep you warm, which in turn can make you more susceptible to getting sick! So rock those soups instead of salads, drink hot tea instead of anything iced, and keep an extra sweater at the office to protect against those drafts. Your mama was right when she warned you that you’ll catch a cold from not wearing your hat!
What are your favorite immunity-boosting hacks? Share them in the comments below!