Do the Spring (or any season) sniffles have you down? This is the time of year when many people are gearing up to get their “summer bodies” – which makes me think of “summer cars.” You know, super fancy, expensive imports or precious antiques that can only come out when the conditions are perfect? Similar to the carefully cultivated, highly labor-intensive physiques that get paraded around on the beach for a few weeks – or months, if the “owners” are lucky. Heaven forbid there be a sprinkling of carbs. Those bodies aren’t made for that! Aren’t we ready to have bodies that are fit and functional and ready for impromptu “drop-trou” occasions like mid-winter hot tub parties? But I digress…
Just as you were getting really serious (really, really this time for SURE, totally sticking to it serious) about your New Year’s Resolutions (remember those?), you were struck down with the dreaded Spring sniffles. Seems like cruel and ironic punishment for making it through the Winter Deep Freeze, only to get a dose of germs just as (or maybe partly because) the weather warmed up. But before you buy out the local pharmacy stock of Dayquil or NeoCitran, here are some suggestions* to get you feeling better (and keep you feeling better), naturally. Too sick to read? You can of course check out my Instagram video series and Facebook posts.
*Remember of course that I am NOT a doctor and you should always discuss treatment plans and strategies with your trusted health care professional.
Drink lots of fluids
Ideally, lots of clear, filtered or natural spring H2O! I know I say it all the time (and it bears repeating). You need to DRINK MORE WATER. It’s one of the easiest, least expensive, MOST effective and often overlooked way to boost your health. Clear broths and teas (especially green tea) also count. Alcohol, on the other hand, doesn’t count toward this fluid total!
Rest and recover
Now is not the time to be stressing over missed workouts. I know you’re pumped to work on that “summer body,” but working out when you should be resting is only going to prolong the sickness and isn’t going to help in your quest of the elusive “ab equinox” – the one day of the year when your abs come out from under their protective winter blanket to soak up the sun.
If you feel like crap, skip it. Stay home from the gym (the other gym patrons don’t need your germs).
If you feel just a little blah then maybe a lighter, less intense workout is just what you need to perk up. Listen to your body. It knows what you need.
Honour your appetite
Forget “feed a cold, starve a fever” (or was that feed a fever, starve a cold?”). If you’re hungry, eat (ideally nutrient-dense whole foods – see below); if you’re not hungry, don’t. Remember what I said above about listening to your body?
Eat immune-boosting foods
Yup, 70% of your body’s immunity is in the digestive track! There are certain foods that can support your immune system function better than others.
What ARE those foods? Well, that’s next week’s post. However, you can be sure that they are nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole food choices. Think chicken soup with lots of garlic. Garlic is key!
What are your go-to comfort foods when you’re sick, and do they actually help you to get better, or is there a chance they are prolonging your sickness?
You can support your gut health and its pre-existing “good” bacteria with prebiotic and probiotic supplements.
Always discuss supplements, remedies and dietary changes with your trusted primary health care provider.
Get well soon and have a fit day!