Winter is in full swing in most places and now is the time when most people start to feel under the weather. While in Austin, it isn’t that cold right now, the weather has been changing frequently. My body usually gets a little confused when it goes from hot to cold, to hot, to rain, to whatever and my immune system gets thrown off. So today I wanted to change the pace from the usual recipe or workout and give some tips on how to stay healthy when mother nature has other plans.
Amino recently inspired me to share my tips on how to keep myself and my loved ones feeling their best during cold and flu season. I am not one to head to the doctor too often (or at all). If I don’t feel that well, I usually try to get some sleep, eat a lot of healthy/superfoods, and give my body a few days to flush it out. But if something is lingering, it is generally a good idea to seek professional help. Especially if you have kids or deal with the elderly. That is where Amino comes in!
Amino makes it easy to find the doctors who have the most experience with your needs and book an appointment. You start out by answering a few quick questions about your needs and preferences, starting with a condition you need help with or a procedure you’re considering. They then search their database of over 5 billion health care professionals to find matches that meet your needs. You can then pick a doctor from the matches based on your preferences, from the office location to the doctor’s gender. The best part is Amino will call them to book an appointment at a time that works for you and even double-check they take your insurance!
Honestly finding a doctor couldn’t be easier. Say goodbye to waiting on hold just to find out the doctor’s office doesn’t take your insurance. The main reason I never go to the doctor is probably because I am too lazy to find one. I still don’t have a regular doctor (hence I never go) since moving to Austin, so I will be using Amino once a visit is needed.
Now it’s time for some of my best tips to stay healthy during cold and flu season!
- Healthy eating. If you have read my blog before, you probably knew this was going to be first. Eating a diet with a wide variety of colors and foods is the best way to nourish your body. No food provides everything our bodies need. We need a variety to provide different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, macronutrients, protein, and more. Try to get a wide variety of colors, especially dark lefty greens, oranges, and reds, which are high in nutrients to boost your immune system. My favorite way to start the day is this green smoothie. I either drink it as a smoothie or make a smoothie bowl out it.
- Exercise. Also a given on this blog. Exercise helps build a strong immune system to help keep you from getting sick. Or, if you feel you are getting sick, exercising can help flush out those nasty germs. That being said, you should only exercise if your body is feeling up to it. If I have the sniffles, I am usually fine with exercising and it helps clear me up. If you have a fever and body aches, then it would be best to skip your daily sweat session for a rest day. Let your body recuperative some. It is best to know your own limits. Taking the intensity down while you are sick is a good idea too. Try going for a walk or doing yoga or pilates.
- H2O yo! Your body is made up of 83% of water. You need water for every single metabolic process in the body. Water helps digest and absorb nutrients and vitamins, remove toxins, and carry away waste. If you are dehydrated you are more susceptible to ailments. If you are not sure how much to drink, a simple rule is to divide your weight by 2 and drink that number of ounces of day.
- Sleep. Getting enough sleep is so critical. Lack of sleep and over-working, whether it be in the gym or at your job, creates a breeding ground for viruses and germs to take over your body. Sleep is also the time where you body rebuilds and repairs muscles from the stress you put on it. 7-9 hours a night is ideal.
- Clean!! Germs are everywhere in the winter months. Whether you are out grocery shopping, in the gym, picking up your kids from school, or even at home. Be proactive by cleaning surfaces that are used daily. Think kitchen counters, coffee tables, and bathroom sinks. You can also carry hand sanitizer with you when you are out and about. If in doubt, wash your hands more often than normal.
- De-stress. Life is stressful. Stressors can come from things like work, school, your family, or even working out. High stress levels can make someone more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu. Try to have one night a week where you hang out with family or friends, go on a date night, or read your favorite book. My favorite way to de-stress is to workout. It is a great way to focus on yourself and forget about things that may be bothering you.
- Treat yo’self. This goes along with de-stressing yourself. Yes eating clean and being psychically active are vital for a healthy life. But some days you just need to do something for yourself because you want to. Whether it be buying those shoes you saw on sale, having a cup of ice cream, getting a massage, or going to the farmers market. Life is all about balance and your own happiness should be at the top of the list.
If I missed any of your favorite ways to stay healthy, let me know in the comments below!