You might be sick and tired of hearing about pandemics, endemics, masks, vaccines, boosters, and the granddaddy of them all: social distancing. Ugh! But that doesn’t change the fact that we’re in the cold and flu season. So, staying healthy is still a top priority.
Our last post shared how hand washing is your first line of defense against catching a cold or flu. But there are two more easy (but often ignored) ways you can protect yourself, not just against the cold or flu but from anything contagious that’s lurking out there: Eat healthier and move more to keep your body as strong and healthy as possible.
Easy Ways To Eat Healthy To Protect Yourself Against Contagious Stuff
It’s a fact. What we eat either strengthens or weakens us. And if there ever were a time we needed to be strong, it’s now.
But go easy on yourself by making small changes. Nothing drastic.
Consider starting by reducing sugar or cutting it out altogether (okay…so much for starting small and easy) by practicing simple swaps.
Reach for a crunchy apple or sweet banana instead of that pack of M&Ms or bag of chips when you want a snack.
Enjoy scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of that bowl of diabetes-inducing sugary cereal in the morning, or, for our vegan friends, steel-cut oats with strawberries and almond milk.
Next, have a protein-rich salad for lunch instead of that greasy burger, taco, or burrito.
You get the idea. Reduce or eliminate sugar and processed foods with simple, healthier, whole food swaps when you can.
Your Immune System is BEGGING You To Add More Fresh Fruit, Vegetables or A Green Drink to the Menu
Take it up a notch by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables because they are loaded with immune-boosting ingredients.
Make it fun by trying something new! Chances are you’ll stumble across a new favorite food!
Do an Internet search for healthy recipes, and transform your kitchen into a culinary laboratory. Or get creative and find healthier ways to cook your favorite foods.
Experiment. Play. Have fun! Who knows, maybe your tastes will change over time, and a baked or mashed sweet potato might start tasting better than that sad, soggy burger! (Work with me here; stranger things have happened!)
Lastly, consider adding a delicious green drink to your daily routine, if nothing else. If you don’t like the “grassy” taste of traditional green drinks, there’s a new kid on the block called Rewind Greens that tastes pretty good! (No, that’s not an affiliate link, but thanks for asking.)
Add More Physical Activity Into Your Day
If you’re a stranger to the gym, or, well, to basically any activity in general (walking from the couch to the bathroom or refrigerator doesn’t count), then consider adding a short, brisk daily walk outside in the fresh air and sunshine (remember the sun? It’s that shiny, yellow thing way up in the sky).
A great place to start is with an after-dinner stroll because it helps regulate blood sugar and aids in digestion.
Or, maybe the morning is better suited to you and your lifestyle.
Some people enjoy tracking their steps and aiming for a daily target, with 10,000 steps being a common goal, but if you’re new to walking, start with a smaller goal like 3000 – 4000 steps.
Walking works wonders for the body. And, as an added benefit, it’s an incredible stress reducer.
Making these small, simple changes by tweaking your diet and adding a little bit more physical activity to your lifestyle will make you feel so much better, healthier, and stronger! And your immune system will be must stronger, too, better protecting you against whatever contagious germ is lurking out and about to give you the sniffles this cold and flu season.
Next, keep your bones and muscles strong by adding a few weightlifting or bodyweight exercises. You don’t have to get crazy. And you don’t need fancy equipment either if you’re just starting. You’re going to feel so much better, though, that you might even consider joining your local gym or even hiring a personal trainer. But unless you’re already fairly active, start with walking and go from there.