Staying Healthy Through the Holiday Season
It's the holiday season! In this time of joy and cheer, relatives are coming to town, rooms need to be cleaned, and tables need to be filled. The children make their wish lists for Santa and eagerly anticipate Christmas morning for their well-deserved gifts. However, for the parents, more dreaded than coal may be a sudden cold or flu in the household.
One cold or flu could contaminate the whole house, as well as those who may be traveling to visit. Additionally, those traveling have equal chance of also being affected en route. Knowing how to protect your loved ones and being proactive in staying healthy through the winter cold and flu season is critical to make the most of this joyous time.
What is the Flu?
The flu, also known as influenza, is a viral respiratory illness. It acts as a microscopic infectious agent to invade the cells of the body, making people sick. Its symptoms include cough, sore throat, and stuffy nose-- all of which are also common in the common cold. However, the flu also can be accompanied by fevers, cold sweats, body and head aches, exhaustion, and occasional gastrointestinal problems, like vomiting and diarrhea. It is highly contagious, hospitalizing approximately 200,000 people a year and killing around 36,000, and its effects are most threatening for the elderly, very young, and those with weak immune systems.1
Why Do We Get the Flu in Winter?
The flu season begins in early October, reaches its peak around February, and ends in March. So, what is it about this time that makes the flu so much more common? While it is possible that the cold itself could strengthen the virus, the cold can also contribute to behavioral changes within society that are more conducive to falling ill.
In the winter months, days are shorter and sunlight is significantly reduced, and the cold often leads people to stay inside. Both decreased sunlight and fewer outings contribute to decreased levels of vitamin D and melatonin, which require sunlight to regenerate. The lack of these essentials results in the weakening of the immune system, resulting in the body's decreased ability to fight off the virus. Additionally, the increased time spent indoors, often with the windows shut, circulates air that could be contaminated and increases the likelihood of contracting the virus. 2
What Else Could Weaken My Immune System and How Can I Address It?
Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of stress hormones and to more inflammation in the body.3 Researchers are still studying how sleep works in boosting the immune system, but it's evident that the suggested 7 to 9 hours for an adult is necessary to maintain good health.
Diets that are rich in sugars and carbs impact immune system cells that attack bacteria, and their effects on the immune system can last hours after consumption. Consuming more fruits and vegetables provides the body with vitamins like vitamins C and E, zinc, and beta-carotene. Variety is key in any healthy diet, so eat the rainbow! Berries, kale, spinach, citrus fruits, and carrots! Foods like garlic are particularly good for the immune system and can help fight off viruses and bacteria.
Low amounts of exercise often correlate to poor health, especially gut health. Consistent, moderate exercise a few times a week can help your immune system fight off infection and also provide a boost in "feel-good" chemicals, helping you sleep better.
Smoking and Drinking
Smoking and drinking can both drastically affect your gut health, and should only be done in moderation at most. Excessive amounts of either can damage the immune system and keep cells from fighting off infections and bacteria. Additionally, cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals that are toxic to the body and its cells and alcohol often contains high concentrations of sugar.
Dehydration means that the body is not getting enough water, which is important to keep your body and immune system in a healthy condition. Water helps the body to flush toxins and wastes, which allows the immune system to fight off infection better. Further, dehydration exhausts the body and affects sleep cycles, resulting in poor sleep and, typically, decreased motivation to exercise.
Stress can have a significant impact on your immune system. With chronic stress, the adrenal glands release extra cortisol to help your body manage. Elevated cortisol decreases the production of healthy prostaglandins, which keep the immune system healthy. Elevated cortisol levels cause immune system cells to disappear from the blood. Slowed prostaglandin production can cause inflammation and immune suppression. Decreasing stress through excerise, meditation, or other healthy coping mechanisms can help keep cortisol levels at the body's preferred levels and help keep your immune system at its best.
The first line of defense in keeping germs from getting into the body is maintaining proper hygiene: washing hands before preparing food, after using the bathroom, and after interacting with someone who may be sick, not touching the eyes nose or mouth, and avoiding those you may know to be sick.
Supplements to the Rescue
NuMedica makes several professional-grade supplements that can help strengthen your immune system and minimize the impact of colds and flu. You can find these listed on the Supplements tab.
1 Medical News Today. What is flu? What is influenza? What are the symptoms of flu?
2 Centers for Disease Control. The Flu Season.
Related Wellness Resources
We encourage you to take advantage of these FREE Wellness Resources on our website.
Lifestyle Choices, Nutrition & NuMedica Supplements
Think back to the time of your great-grandparents. What types of food did people eat back then? For the most part they ate what they could grow on their land or what they got locally from a Farmer's market or some other community-based food supply. So what happened to our food? Why are so many of us sick, overweight and tired?
Understanding Inflammation's Link to Obesity, Diabetes, & Disease
This article provides introductory knowledge on the role of blood sugar and body fat on inflammation. Inflammation is the center-point of disease and the main contributor to obesity. FirstFitness Nutrition's Suddenly Slim Weight Loss Programs and NuMedica's hc3 Trim Lifestyle Program address the root cause of inflammation which in turn reduces body fat.
Webinar: Better Sleep Tonight!
Facilitator Libby Wright interviews Dr. Jamie Wright who discusses the role of sleep in weight loss with participants of the Your Best Weight program. Dr. Wright is a board certified physician with a Masters Degree in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine. The webinar last for 29 minutes and addresses questions submitted by the program participants.
You can learn more about the NuMedica supplements discussed: Liquid Melatonin.
Please enjoy the webinar. You may also wish to view or download the slides used for the presentation. We encourage you to ask questions or share your thoughts in the Discussion Forum.
Webinar: Eight and One Half Steps to Relieve Stress
Facilitator Libby Wright discusses the physiological effects of stress and how we perceive situations with participants of the Your Best Weight program. She provides practical tips for managing stress that everyone can do. The webinar last for 17 minutes and addresses questions submitted by the program participants.
You may view or download the slides used for the presentation. We encourage you to take advantage of the supporting content on the Resources tab and to ask questions or share your thoughts in the Discussion Forum.
Why You Need Colostrum and PRPs
I would like to introduce you to my new best friend, Proline-Rich Polypeptides. You can call him PRP for short! This is an amazing leap in science. While we've been carrying the NuMedica ImmunoG product line for quite some time, and I was in fact using it daily, I had no idea it's power and scope of use!
Yes! Stress Makes You Fat
People talk about stress all the time, and sure, we all know what it feels like! But how does our body actually handle stress, and what in the world does that have to do with getting fat?
Learn more about these NuMedica Supplements on our website.
Helps to reduce fatigue, get better sleep quality, stabilize your mood, may reduce cravings, and decrease stress.
Contains colostrum derived Proline-Rich Polypeptides in spray form that support immune system and cognitive function.
Supports immune factors, digestive health, and may accelerate the healing of body tissue with powerful bovine-derived colostrum.
Provides 1,000 mg of Vitamin C delivered in phosphatidylcholine liposomes for optimal absorption.
Supports bone health and immune system function while promoting nutrient absorption.
People who eat the standard American diet lack the micronutrients and phytonutrients found in whole foods. MultiMedica helps fill the gap.
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