Monday, January 31, 2011

Are You Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?

As winter lingers on and we bundle up against a chill in the air, do you find yourself fighting an endless cold or flu. Abundant remedies and over-the-counter drugs exist claiming to shorten the condition or alleviate the symptoms. But if you really want to have an affect on sickness, the time to do something is when you're not sick. It's important to ensure that your immune system is in top condition to fight the endless assault of viruses and bacteria. See The Road to Health Comes Down to Diet.

Here are five tips to add to your healthy journey regimen:

1. Eat Lots of Raw Veggies
That means staying away from processed foods which are only empty calories. Eat plenty of fresh, raw veggies rich in vitamins and nutrients—what your body needs to build a healthy immune system. Have a big helping of Veggie Salad for lunch every day and you will start to feel the benefits.

2. Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Adequate intake of vitamin D is key to a healthy body and immune system. Science has found over 3,000 genes that are regulated by vitamin D, one of which controls our ability to fight infections like colds and flus. Healthy bones are dependent on vitamin D, accounting for why vitamin D is added to dairy products. Vitamin D deficiency increases cancer risks.

The best way to get vitamin D is to forgo the sunscreen and take a walk outside. On my morning runs, I'm wearing shorts and t-shirt as soon as the temperature reaches 50 degrees—soaking up the vitamin D.

3. Exercise Regularly
Speaking of morning runs or afternoon walks, exercise plays an important role in health. Is there anyone who doesn't get this? Studies show that regular exercise dramatically reduces the likelihood of contracting an upper respiratory infection. In addition, studies point to exercise having an affect on more serious disease like cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, dementia, stroke and depression. As for depression, exercise improves your mood through the magic of endorphins, which are produced when you exercise—the so-called runners high.

Need help to get started exercising, here's 10 Tips For Starting & Sticking With Exercise.

4. Stop Eating Sugar
Sugar is a culprit in all kinds of disease. Sugar raises insulin levels which then depresses the immune system. Raised insulin increases the storage of fat or simply said, sugar turns to fat. I'm amused when I see sugary foods stating they contain no fat. Yet the sugar and processed flours in the product will be stored as fat once its eaten.

We've been told since the 70's that vitamin C helps fight the common cold. However, elevated sugar levels interfere with vitamin C levels in our cells. The list goes on. Is it any wonder sugar contributes to getting sick and being tired?

5. Learn to Reduce Stress
Last but not least, finding ways to manage stress is important to avoiding sickness. This is the one that gets me every time. When life throws its muck my way, I need to be extra careful. I've learned to check myself during those vulnerable times. I rarely get sick, but when I do, I can always look back a few days and identify the stressful situation that set me up.

Emotional stress especially chronic stress stemming from childhood trauma or hurt can wreak havoc on your immune system. My younger sister held onto a lot of anger over her perceived "bad" childhood. Not dealing with that anger likely contributed to her cancer and early death.

My Cold Remedies
What do I do when I feel that cold coming on? I never take drugs for a cold because they only mask symptoms (like runny nose or fever), which are signs your body is attempting to rid itself of the virus. Suppressing those may keep your body from recovering quicker.

The most effective item in my arsenal is homeopathic remedies. I've taken homeopathic remedies for over 30 years. For a cold try Coldcalm by Boiron. If its a flu (I don't remember the last time I had a flu) take Oscillococcinum by Boiron. Also try a nasal rinse (like NeilMed) or spray (like Xlear) to give you some relief. These are all natural products and they work!

In case you were wondering, I have never gotten a flu shot and never will. They weaken your immune system and are not perfect.

Any questions? Do you have a story to tell or natural remedies to share? I hope you leave a comment.


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