Welcome to that special time of year, best characterized by the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, body ache…FLU SEASON (among other illnesses)!!!!! Year after year we hear: “This is the worst flu season ever!” Ads from various drug stores and doctor’s offices urge the young and old to get their flu shot; while the shelves are routinely overstocked and repeatedly barren where the OTC analgesics reside. There are many GOOD ways of protecting yourself from other people’s illness and amping up your immune system to handle any wayward germs that may make it past your best efforts:
To name a few:
- Drink lots of water (64+ ounces/day)
- Wash your hands every hour or more in hot water with anti-bacterial soap
- Avoid sharing food, beverages, or other items that could be infected
- At the gym, wipe down equipment before and after each use
- Increase intake of vitamins A and C
This week I had my own bout with a particularly harsh stomach virus that left my so dehydrated after 10 hours that I ended up in the Emergency Room receiving 2 liters of IV fluids to replace what I had lost. I was told in the ER that I would probably feel sick for 4-5 days but after 48 hours, if a-symptomatic, I could return to work without fear of contaminating anyone else’s space.
I proceeded to doze in and out for the next 36-of-48 hours, which brings me to my point:
YOUR SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ALLY IN THE FIGHT FOR GOOD HEALTH THIS WINTER: VITAMIN Z!!!!
I promise, you can take all the Airborne, EmergenC, Multi-Vitamins, etc. you want to keep your immune system strong, but at the end of the day, SLEEP is the single best thing to boost your immune system and keep your body strong enough to fight off the crap Mother Nature continues to send our way!
If you do get sick: in addition to increased sleep, think protein and veggies! The same stuff that keeps you slim will keep most viruses and colds away. These “bugs” live on sugar (all carbs, especially wheat turn to sugar in your mouth). The more you can stay away from the “comfort foods” and stick to lean meats and veggies the quicker you will be back on your feet!
For more information on keeping yourself and loved ones healthy this Winter please speak with any of our Excel Fitness certified personal trainers (860) 523-8167.
By Ilicia Balaban, C.P.T.