When you think summer, usually hot days, balmy nights and some much-needed vacation time comes to mind - not being in bed with a cold! But for many of us, the summer cold is a reality. We all know you’d rather spend your summer days in the sun and not in bed, so here are 3 ways to fight back against the summer cold.
1. Reduce stress. Stress is pretty much unavoidable these days, but how you cope with stress can make or break your health. When you are stressed your body goes in to “fight mode” which directs blood flow to important areas like your brain and muscles and away from others, like your immune system. This is great if you need to fight off a lion with your stone club, but in the modern era our body doesn’t differentiate between mortal danger and a tough day at the office. If we fail to cope properly with our stress, our body stays in “fight mode” perpetually, diverting resources from your immune system and leaving you vulnerable to disease. How this manifests is, the moment you actually take a break - say actually go on that summer vacation – you get sick! What a terrible way to spend your vacation! So, while not every stress-coping mechanism works for everyone, here are some things to try:
Breathe. Taking 3 deep breaths anytime you start feeling stressed helps calm and refocus the mind.
Move. Whether this is getting up from your desk every few hours, taking a walk at lunch time, or hitting up your favorite fitness class, exercise reduces stress.
Meditate. Take some time to reflect and focus on yourself. Struggle with mediation? There are lots of great aps to help! We recommend: Head Space.
Make a plan (and write it down!). Sometimes tasks seem insurmountable because we forget to take things one step at a time. Break big things into small parts and make a point of accomplishing a little bit each day. Then cross it off your list! It feels good
Antioxidants – help your body heal. Antioxidants can be found in some water but cannot be bottled effectively. Look for filters that can produce this on demand.
Alkaline – disease cannot survive in an alkaline body! Plus, things like a stuffy nose are caused by inflammation, which is acidity mediated. Fight back with alkaline water that balances your body’s pH and helps it heal.
Mineralized – calcium and magnesium are key to reduce cardiovascular disease, but other trace minerals - like zinc - are also important for your immune system. Look for water that adds these minerals back in.
To get all of the above (plus the water tastes great) we recommend a Santevia Power Pouch. It travels great on that summer vacation and each pouch lasts for 10 bottles of GOOD water. Supporting your immune system never tasted so great!
2. Sleep. Sleep is essential for your body to recover and repair, so its no wonder that when you skip it you get sick! But sometimes there are so many fun things to do in the summer that sleep takes a back seat. Even if you are a homebody, it can just be so hard to sleep in the summer! One second its too hot, the next, the sun is streaming in your window at 5am. Grrrr.Here are some ways to improve your sleep (and get that much needed recovery time) over the summer:
Invest in a sleep mask. There are even some that you can cool in the fridge for that nice fresh feeling on your face. We recommend: Starry Eyed Mask
Switch your sheets. Some fabrics are more breathable than others. Keep cool, stay sleeping. We recommend bamboo for hot summer nights.
Avoid screens (phone, computer, TV) late at night. We know, we know, asking someone to put down their phone is like asking them to cut off their arm. So if you fall into the smart-phone addicted category, at least set the phone to night mode or invest in some blue light glasses to reduce the effect that the light has on your circadian rhythm (AKA when your body wants to sleep or be awake). We recommend these: Spektrum Glasses.
3. Drink good water. We say GOOD, because not all water is made equal. To properly support your immune system, your water should have the following attributes:
How much water though? You should be drinking half of your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water each day. More if you exercise or its hot (like in the summer!) For example, if you weigh 150lbs, half that is 75, so you should drink 75oz (or about 8 9oz glasses per day).
Stay healthy out there!
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