IBD and Cold and Flu Season: Preventing Illness
Cold and flu season is here and often leaves those with compromised immune systems dreading the next illness. Thankfully there are some natural things you can do to boost your immune system and stay healthy!
Though it sounds simple, getting enough rest can be key in maintaining a healthy immune system. Most people need between 7-9 hours of sleep at night. Getting more sleep is also associated with a lower immune system so don't over indulge in those holiday naps either!
Get out in the sunshine and get moving. Exercise is associated with an increase in immune response as is exposure to sunlight. The vitamin D produced while you are outside has also been linked to a stronger immune system. Fifteen minutes of sunlight per day is all you need!
Eat healthy, nutritious foods. Your body needs good nutrition to run smoothly. Unfortunately the chaos of the holidays often brings less time to focus on your daily meals. Plan ahead and bring safe snacks with you on errands so that you are tempted to eat something that would derail your good works. Try to get the five fruits and vegetables you need per day into your meals so those vitamins and phytonutrients can do their work.
Hydrate adequately. Your body runs more smoothly when you are well hydrated. Drink plenty of liquids but focus mainly on drinking water. Drinks that contain caffeine or sugar don't help so try to avoid over consumption of those things. Most adults need about 8 cups of water per day. If you have kidney disease or other issues that may change your needs please discuss your intake needs with your doctor.
Last but not least.... Don't stress out! You can't change the stressful things around you but you can change how you respond to them. Schedule in plenty of down time, make time to laugh with friends, get a massage or take a yoga class to reduce your stress level. Stress really increases your chances of getting sick so be sure to give yourself a break from the holiday chaos.
Institute some of these tips and stay healthy! Have a wonderful holiday everyone!