We all get ill from time to time and honestly, it can be pretty sweet to take a day or two off work and nestle down under a duvet and just sleep and drink tea but most of the time we want to be at the top of our game. How then can we stay fit and healthy and avoid some of the nasty bugs floating around our homes and workplaces?
We take a look at some great ways of beating colds and flu and keeping runny noses, stuffy heads and hacking coughs at bay.
It might seem obvious but when you’re feeling tired, your immune system is going to struggle to fight off attacks on your health and well being. So our first top health hack is sleep and so much of it.
Catch the best sleep to keep your immune system up
Get your head down for a full seven to eight hours regularly and you’re going to feel like you can take on anything. Your body is going to thank you too, plus as well as being great for your physical well being, sleep is a great regulator for mental health as well.
But, did you know that not all sleep is created equal? Crashing out after an evening spent scrolling down screens or after regularly drinking too much caffeine or alcohol can seriously damage the quality of the sleep you’re getting.
Studies show that your brain needs at least a couple of hours free from screen time to help it relax and recover from the stimulation that our social networks and news sites provide us with.
Put down the phone, dial down the TV and lose the tablet for a better night’s rest.
If it’s your environment that’s preventing you from getting your best night’s rest, then consider investing in an eyeshade or even some earplugs. Don’t put up with too much light or noise disturbing you at precisely the wrong time.
Raise a glass to your health
When you’ve got this essential part of your lifestyle in check, take a look at what other healthy habits you can boost.
Water, like sleep, is probably something you take for granted. After all, when you’re thirsty you head straight to the tap right? Probably not. For many of us, the idea of drinking litres of water does not appeal so we tend to swap in for fizzy drinks, commercial juices and smoothies. Aside from the astronomical amount of sugar in these products, they also do very little to truly quench our thirst and bring about real benefit to the body.
Yes, it’s a bit bland but with your body using water in every single cell and organ, keeping hydrated is essential for a fighting fit immune system.
Keep water interesting by flavouring it with citrus fruits and avoid adding to the plastic mountain by keeping a reusable bottle to hand.
There are an awful lot of websites and health gurus out there showering us with information about the must-have supplements and vitamins needed to keep your immune system functioning properly. But truth be told, the best in vitamins, minerals and everything else comes from fresh food, cooked to maximise the amount of nutritional value in that product. For example, steaming over boiling, oven cooking over deep fat frying. If you do feel that you’re lacking in any particular vitamin or something else like iron, then the safest course of action is probably to check with your doctor before dosing yourself up with over the counter remedies that may not even work.
Listen for signs to your health
When was the last time you truly listened to your body? Lifestyle experts know that maintaining our health comes about when we truly tune in to how we are feeling and what we need to stay on top of our game.
As much as we can do in terms of exercising, resting and eating well, sometimes we just need to listen better to what we need to help us feel good.
An ill child feels a whole lot of better after a dose of Dymadon and a cuddle and it’s this comfort that plays almost as much a part of the recovery as the medicine itself.
Sometimes we need a whole bunch of friends around to have fun with and boost our spirits, while at other times we’re looking for total peace and quiet; an afternoon spent under a blanket with a mug of coffee and a great book on your Kindle.