We are well and truly into cold and flu season here in Australia. And with the sick season upon us, it’s an excellent time to start bolstering your immune system. Don’t wait till you get sick to make changes to your lifestyle, start when you’re healthy to avoid getting sick in the first place.
In today’s post we’ve collected 14 simple and effective habits you can add to your daily routine to help you NOT get sick:
Breakfast sets the tone for the day and kick starts your metabolism. If you’re not focussed on a hungry stomach, chances are you’ll also be more productive too! If eating a big breakfast isn’t your thing, try a healthy smoothie, fruit and yoghurt or a savoury wholegrain breakfast loaf.
For those of us with office jobs, or who drive a lot, a sedentary lifestyle is a real and big problem for our health. Sitting for long periods of time affects many bodily functions, including the body’s ability to use energy efficiently. Stand up frequently during the day to start offsetting these negative effects. It’s simple: use the stairs, walk and talk, set up a timer and stretch every 30 minutes, use your imagination and get standing!
Eat your greens
Your mum had it right, eating your greens is a great way to stay healthy. Packed with vitamins and minerals, green leafy vegetables will help support your immune system. Pay particular attention to eating veg of the cruciferous variety, they’ve been shown to help the body ward off sickness.
Eating a healthy and satisfying diet is easier when you plan ahead. Getting to the end of a busy workday and not knowing what you’re having for dinner or having it ready and prepped means you’re more likely to order in, pick up a greasy takeaway or purchase a lacklustre frozen meal from the supermarket. The best and easiest way to plan ahead? Order your meals with Chefgood and we’ll deliver them right to your doorstep.
Sort out your posture
Hunching over the computer? Leaning into the steering wheel? Collapsing on a bar stool for after-work drinks? None of this helps your body or your breathing. Sitting up tall with a long spine will save you from aches and pains as well as allow you to breathe deeply and fully.
Get some vitamin D in your day
Even in sunny Australia, many of us are lacking in vitamin D. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that just under one in four (23%) Australian adults are vitamin D deficient. A deficiency can affect bone growth, your cardiovascular system and weaken your immune system. Get plenty of vitamin D by including foods like salmon, eggs and mushroom in your diet and by getting safe sun exposure daily.
Drink plenty of water and ditch the fruit juice, sugary soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. If you can’t stomach your eight glasses a day straight, try ‘fancy’ water – chop up slices of lemon, lime and cucumber plus a few sprigs of mint.
Listen to your body
So many of us ignore what our body is telling us on a daily basis. So instead of eating when you ‘should’, eat when you’re actually hungry and stop when you’re full. Eat mindfully and without distraction (I’m looking at you iPhone!) so you can listen to what your body is saying. This isn’t just about eating, it’s also good to tune into your body and listen out for signs you need more rest and downtime so you can keep your immune system firing on all cylinders.
Go to sleep
Yep, rest is uber important to staying healthy. Those who get enough sleep are much better equipped at fighting off viruses like cold and flu. Aim for eight hours, but everyone is different so work out your optimum amount of sleep.
Disconnect from tech
Set up daily limits for yourself when it comes to being behind a screen whether it’s the laptop, TV or smartphone. Switch them off at a certain time and go tech-free. You could even try a social-media-free month (or weekend if you’re starting slow) or a tech-free holiday where you’re living in the moment not capturing it for Instagram.
Get out with friends
Turns out that those who have and nurture connections with friends literally suffer from less chronic disease. Social isolation can slow the body’s immune response and the ability to heal. Use this as your excuse to plan a get together this weekend with your mates.
Work on your balance
Balance is one of the first things that deserts us as we get older. But keeping good balance is an excellent way to avoid injuries and stay active for longer. Yoga and tai chi are both practices that will help you build your balancing mojo.
Get your flu shot
The best way to avoid getting the flu? Get the flu shot!
Take a short getaway (or staycation)
Planning and taking a micro-trip is an excellent way to de-stress and keep your immune system functioning healthily. If the budget doesn’t allow for a getaway, plan to stay in for a weekend instead!