How To Sick Proof Your Body & Stay Healthy

how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-sick-in-bedI hate being sick more than anything. You know that feeling when all the other kids are out playing and you’re stuck in bed or on the couch with tissues all around you, a red nose and a general feeling of lethargy and crankiness? It’s no fun.

But you don’t have to get sick…at least not as often as the next person.

There are a few people you meet who just don’t ever seem to get sick.
Here’s how they do it.

  1. They work a low stress job or have found a way to deal with a high stress job
  2. They eat a fairly healthy diet and don’t waver too far from it or binge on foods that they know will make them sick.
  3. They eat foods or take supplements that help strengthen their immune system and they do it year round
  4. They don’t train too much
  5. They don’t party or socialize too much. When they start to feel run down they take some time out for themselves
  6. They take regular holidays disconnected from phone and email and constant interruption

Obviously not every one of these ‘never sick people’ do all of these things but they do a lot.

So how does it apply to you?

I have a high stress job.

You need to find a way to unwind from the day, some way you can forget everything about work and focus on something else. Fictional books and comedy TV shows and movies are great to escape the daily grind and forget about life’s problems and issues for a while.

Or you need to find a way to reduce your workload so you don’t feel so stressed out or reach the point of exhaustion. I’m obviously speaking from experience here. I didn’t back off my workload and now it’s taking a long time to recover. Then I hired staff to help with training and administration and it started getting easier and less stressful.

I eat a fairly healthy diet. What am I doing wrong?

Maybe you have an allergy to a particular food you don’t want to give up. Examples include dairy (lactose), grains (gluten) or other random foods that don’t seem to agree with you. Neither dairy nor grains agree with me so I try to stay away from them most of the time.

Maybe you drink too much over the course of a week, or the wheat in beer or sugar in wine may be upsetting things.

Maybe you eat too much sugar in the form of chocolate, lollies, ice cream, desserts, etc. Sometimes even fruit can be the culprit if you’re eating big quantities over the summer or too much of the wrong kind may not be good for you (think acidic fruits as they may not agree with everyone).

Maybe you eat really well during the week and completely undo your good work on the weekend.

What foods should I eat to strengthen my immune system?

You’ve probably heard about these before. I know I had but never knew how to use them all regularly in my cooking or food preparation.

how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-apple-cider-vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

When I was little mum used to make us drink honey, lemon and apple cider vinegar in hot water to soothe our sore throats. I still make it. But apple cider vinegar also works as a salad dressing with olive oil and is good for keeping the digestive system healthy. And the more I read the more I find that the digestive system is the key to immunity.

 

 

how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-gingerGinger

Ginger is reported to help improve GI function and limit or prevent free radical damage. It also tastes amazing in meat dishes and my daily smoothie.

 

 

how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-GarlicGarlic

Finely diced, granulated, minced, whole. Just throw garlic in your meals to power them up. You know it works. If it can stave off vampires it can surely keep you from getting the flu.

 

 

how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-berriesBerries

They are a super food and contain antioxidants which help fight off infections. And they taste amazing in smoothies or to top off healthy desserts such as stewed apples & berries with shredded coconut.

 

 

how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-LemonsLemon

Squeezed in water, sliced up and added to a warm drink, you could probably eat it whole if you are game. The low ph makes it antibacterial. I’ve been squeezing half into my daily smoothie and love it.

 

 

how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-vitamin-cVitamin C

Strength coach and health nut Jason Ferruggia suggests taking 2-5 grams a day to keep immunity high. Freshly squeezed orange juice is one option or chewable tablets are convenient too.

 

 

How much or how little should I train and when should I back off?

We talked about this last week and you can read the whole article here:
www.travissawyer.com/2012/06/05/when-to-train-hard-and-how-to-back-off-to-stay-consistent

The main thing to remember is don’t train at 100% if you feel like you are about to get sick. Train but just go through the motions. Try to train in a warm environment or stay rugged up, even if it means doing some exercise at home in front of the heater.

I want to have a life. Why would I stop going out?

You can either choose to stay home for the day or night and rest

or

You can get sick and your body forces you to stay home for a few days and a few nights and you end up even more miserable.

When you start to feel run down, take some time out for yourself. Take a sick day before you get sick. Going to work and doing a stressful job while barely stopping to eat all day, then rushing to the gym or shops to pick up dinner will only make you worse.

  • Call in sick.
  • Stay home.
  • Ask someone to cover for you.
  • Sleep in.
  • Spend the day in bed if you need to.
  • Sit on the couch all day and watch TV under a blanket with the heater on.
  • Cook a big batch of soup with whatever you have and eat that through the whole day.
  • If you have kids ask your partner to look after them for the day so you can rest and recover.
  • Ask your kids or partner to bring you food and look after you.

Do I need a holiday?

Yes of course you need a holiday!

I used to skip holidays and save up my weeks off for a big trip. It was only on one of my big trips I realized how run down I was and how valuable holidays are.

  • how-to-sick-proof-your-body-stay-healthy-atlantis-resortBreak your normal routine.
  • Leave the phone and laptop at home.
  • Sleep in.
  • Wander aimlessly.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Go white water rafting.
  • Lie on the beach for a few hours.
  • Hike a mountain.
  • Spend a week at a beach house or at a country cottage.
  • Eat local food. Swim in the pool.
  • Camp in the middle of nowhere.
  • Unplug from the Matrix. Detach from normal life for a while and enjoy yourself.

Planned holidays are important too. They give you something to look forward to and it helps get you through the tough times. ‘Just 2 more weeks til I leave for the Maldives!’ I wish.

So think about your next holiday now and start planning it!

Other Important Tips.

See some sun! Exposure to sunlight in the morning or evenings will help you sleep better and keep you healthier. Your skin craves sunlight…might be why it feels so good to us, just not in the middle of the day when the sun is right overhead.

Get out in the sunshine and get vitamin d. I’m good for your eyes, I’m good for your bones…

Sleep more. Go to bed an hour earlier. Keep your phone, TV and laptop outside the bedroom. Nap if you need it.

Wash your hands more. If one person in the workplace is sick and they touch something you might touch, it’s gonna be hard to stay healthy.

Limit your alcohol consumption. According to a study in BMC Immunology alcohol can impair your white blood cells ability to combat viruses for up to 24 hours when you overdo it. They suggest no more than one drink per day during the flu season.

 

 

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