You must have felt it in the air. I know I did. I went out to take the garbage the other night and was struck by the cold dampness in the air. My coconut oil is officially solid and my familiar spinal pain has returned. Some of you may know this pain, it’s like someone plugged your spine into an outlet and it lights up like a Christmas tree. Good times!
Winter is definitely coming. If you watch Game of Thrones and live in the Pacific NW, you know what I’m talking about. Nine months of gray skies and continual rain feels a bit like doom for sun lovers like myself.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from colds, flus, and other cold weather ailments?
Aside from acquiring a dire wolf (which I would LOVE, btw), there are a few things that you can do to make the transition into fall, and subsequently winter, a little easier on your body.
10 Ways to Avoid Winter Colds:
- Wear a hat and scarf! Chinese medicine says it helps to avoid “wind invasion” and there is something to it. Protect your heat and keep wrapped up.
- Eat Root Vegetables. It’s best to eat with the seasons. Now is the time for root vegetables. A simple and easy way is to chop them up, coat with coconut oil and spices and bake or roast. They are full of energy and nutrients that are needed in these coming months.
- Humidify. A closed up, dry house full of dusty air coming from the heater is also a place where viruses thrive. Open windows when you can and keep a humidifier going if your sinus passages start giving you trouble. Another option is a Pyrex dish with a little water on a stove top. Add a few drops of eucalyptus or thyme essential oil to keep the air clean.
- Cover your feet and keep them warm. This is a no-brainer. Not only does it feel better to keep your tootsies toasty, but your immune system will thank you. Studies have shown immune suppression following subjects getting their feet cold.
- Sleep. Sleep is critical for everything. The fastest route to nearly all illness is lack of and disrupted sleep. See my blog post HERE.
- Exercise. You know me, I’m pretty convinced exercise fixes everything. Lack of exercise leads to stagnancy and poor circulation. What happens to a stagnant body of water? It gets murky and full of pathogens. You body behaves similarly. Exercise turns up the heat and burns those buggers out! A little tip: If the symptoms are above the clavicle, go exercise and work up a good sweat and burn it out. If below the clavicle (pneumonia, for instance), be easy on yourself and choose more gentle exercise like yoga, pilates, etc.
- Sauna, sauna, sauna. Because a warm body is a immunologically ready body. There are many validated and scientific reasons why sauna is good for you, but simply put, a warm body is a healthier body than a cold, damp one.
- Avoid Electric Blankets. After all of this talk on keeping warm, an electric blanket or heating pad seems like a great idea, right? Wrong! Electric blankets emit electomagnetic fields (EMF) or electromagnetic “smog”. This is bad news. They mess with your DNA, your nervous system, your immune system and your reproductive system, to name a few. Bundle up, grab a hot water bottle and a snuggle buddy instead (dogs work too!)
- Get Adequate Daylight! Just because the darker season is coming does not mean that you still can’t get out there and get some daylight to hit those eyeballs. Put the sunglasses away and get out there. Even 10 minutes of daylight, especially of morning light, will make a big difference for those of us who suffer from S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It does good things for your sleep, hormones, and even your waist line!
- Don’t be a Hermit. Socializing is not only good for your immune system, it turns down inflammation as well. It helps you secrete oxytocin. It keeps your brain active and keeps you from feeling isolated, which is easy to do as the weather turns cruddy. Dogs are helpful to have around in these situations as well as they are good company. Loved ones and friends are also wonderful options. Humans need companionship 🙂
Sip tea, eat healthfully, avoid sugar and refined carbs, hug your loved ones, and stay active!
I hope these tips will help you enjoy the transition into fall and winter 🙂 Here’s to a season of health and wealth!
P.S. Cinnamon is a favorite fall flavor of mine. Put down the Pumpkin Spiced Latte (with its 50 grams of sugar in a 16 oz serving) and sprinkle a little cinnamon into your coffee instead. It does wonderful things for your blood sugar.
© Dr. Tyna Moore and www.corewellnesspdx.com, 2014-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dr. Tyna Moore and www.corewellnesspdx.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.