Here in Texas we say, “if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes… it’ll change.” What a reality that phrase has been this week! From sunny and 70 degrees last weekend, to snow and 18 degrees yesterday, the extreme change in weather has caused my immune system to take a hit! You know the feeling of a cold coming on… runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, aches and pains. Luckily, I have found a few preventative remedies to ward off that pesky “pre-cold,” which leads me to something else we say here in Texas… “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”
- Get Some Sleep! Lack of sleep makes your body extremely vulnerable to illness, especially during the winter. Try going to bed an hour earlier than usual and give your body a chance to recharge.
- Can the Coffee. I know, it sounds impossible to wake up on a chilly morning and not immediately divulge in a Starbucks Dark Roast. However, caffeine stresses your adrenal glands, which affects your body’s immune system and energy-level. Try replacing your morning coffee with an herbal tea, which will boost your antioxidants as well as your immune system. If you’re like me and can’t ditch the coffee completely, cut back on your intake and swap out that 2nd cup for a healthier option.
- Stay Active! Lets be honest, the thought of waking up early when its dark and cold outside (and if we’re following the rules, sans coffee) sounds more difficult than we can imagine. But, studies have shown that maintaining a moderate level of exercise has a long-term effect on your immune system. My favorite workout to do when its too cold to be outside is some yoga, in the warmth of my own house.
- De-stress, not Distress. Studies have shown that you have a higher risk of catching the flu or a cold when you are stressed. Take some time during your day to relax your mind by meditating, praying, or simply closing your eyes for a few minutes. You can even multitask and de-stress while you’re doing yoga and getting your exercise in.
- Goop up. The cold weather has a tendency to dry out our skin, leaving it red, flaky, and often scary looking. Make sure you are moisturizing heavily and consistently. Before bed, I lather my skin in Dr. Ohhira’s Magoroku Skin Lotion™ for lasting moisture effects.
- Be Happy! Don’t catch the winter blues, get exposure to some natural light for at least 30 minutes a day for your daily dose of Vitamin D. If its too cold to be outside for 30 minutes, consider investing in a natural light box and a good Vitamin D supplement.
- Guard Your Immune System. Last, but certainly not least, it is very important to keep your immune system boosted and strong during extreme weather changes (and all the time for that matter.) Your body needs antioxidants to fight off the free radicals that attack your body. Try Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis Plus ® to keep your immune system at its peak. I take 3 a day and a few extra if I’m really feeling poorly.
Well, its been more than 5 minutes and the weather here still hasn’t changed. Looks like Phil the Groundhog was right, 6 more weeks of cold weather!