As we approach the colder months, it is more important than ever to make sure our bodies are functioning at their best in order to protect us from all germs that will be floating around.
Here are 7 things you can do to protect yourself against multiple illnesses this winter season:
Prioritizing recovery with exercise. Unless you are a competitive athlete that competes in the winter, consider the winter time off season. Pay close attention to your biofeedback: sleep quality, mood, energy levels, libido etc. If you feel miserable, dial back your workouts either in volume or intensity.
Ensure micronutrient status. Most people through the winter seasons become deficient in Vitamin D because the sun is out less hours of the day and even when we are outside we usually have more layers on so there is less direct sun contact to the skin which is how Vitamin D is absorbed within the body. You can easily supplement through the winter months with vitamin D3 i.e. cholecalciferol 2000iu daily with food (for optimal absorption). It is hypotehsized that vitamin D deficiency is one of the contributors to Seasonal affective disorder. There are a few other micronutrients that can be obtained through natural food sources that do have protective components against illness which I list in our immune support guide. If you want a copy of this to learn more, comment below and I will send that over to you.
Do not recklessly gain weight. This is in order to maintain insulin sensitivity and overall health. Many individuals in the health and fitness industry utilize the winter time as “bulking season”. If not done wisely, it can result in gaining excess fat instead of lean muscle gainz. When an abundance of highly processed foods are used for a bulk this can contribute further to seasonal affective disorder and increased risk for illness. If you are taking the winter months to bulk, make sure you are making majority nutrient dense food choices
Gut health. Anyone with ongoing gut sensitivity issues tends to have increased systemic inflammation which leads to more oxidative stress and an immune system that is less capable of dealing with invading viruses and bacteria. So some simple things to do to keep your gut healthy: eating while relaxed and undistracted, chew your food thoroughly, high quality, nutrient dense foods containing protein, essential fatty acids, micronutrients and fiber, etc.
Sleep well. This should arguably number one on this list. Sleep deprivation is the worst possible thing you could do for your immune system. Some of the ways to improve sleep quality is to get as much sunlight as you can early in the morning after waking. Meal timing. Find a consistent meal routine that works for you. Its not that eating before bed is a bad thing per se, but slamming a really high fat high carb meal 15 minutes before bed could cause some sleep disruption. Other ways to improve sleep is to look at your surroundings: room temperature, darkness in the room, less stimulation before bed .Like putting phones away and turning off the tv.
Fat loss. For those with 15 lbs to lose or more, going into a conservative to moderate calorie deficit in the winter months is a great way to boost the immune system, especially if you are obese and have other chronic conditions like diabetes, HTN, etc.
Manage stress. Stress, especially when it is chronic, will suppress the immune system and cause increased systemic inflammation in the body. It is important to incorporate stress reducing activities to your daily routine like meditation, yoga, reading, walking or any other activity that helps you to decompress your thoughts.
For your free copy of our immune support guide, click here