Winter is a beautiful time of the year, crisp frosty mornings and warm evenings in front of the fire. Not to mention the snow sports kicking into life now, skiing, snowboarding or just building a snowman with the kids.
It also has that other side; colds, coughs, flu and generally feeling stiff and achy for some. We want our patients to enjoy the finer side of the winter months, so here are a few tips to keep you fighting fit and away from the dreaded lurgy!
Increase your sleep
Our natural circadian rhythms mean we should live in tune with daily cycles, ‘Up with the sun, down with the sun’ However since the invention of the lightbulb (and Netflix) that has stretched out quite late and in general, we are sleeping less than is ideal. The body goes to work while we sleep; repairing, healing, and growing as well as fighting invading germs and infection. As rule, eight hours is a decent rest, some people will thrive on less but try to keep your sleep patterns consistent to give you the most energy and allow your body essential healing time. The optimum time for ultimate repair is between 10pm and 2am so you should aim to be lights out by 9.30 and avoid too much screen time before bed as this tricks the body into thinking the sun is still up meaning reduced quality of sleep for several hours.
You are what you eat and a good varied diet will go a long way to help you fight off the bugs. A wide mix of fruit and veggies, with a strong focus on your dark-green-leafy veggies is important.
If you’re losing the battle and getting sick, garlic has fantastic antibiotic properties (provided it isn’t too heavily heated). Ginger, turmeric and chilli will also help reduce inflammation and fight the lurgy.
Our diets often don’t give us our optimum requirement for micronutrients so topping up on vitamins and mineral is essential at this time of year.
As a starting point, we should include a good quality multivit and mineral supplement, fish oil and probiotics. And during the winter months, an extra dose of Vitamin D is very important due to the reduced UV exposure.
Daws Osteopathy supply Metagenics which is only available when prescribed from your practitioner. Speak to your Osteo to find a tailor-made plan for you.
Get moving! Walking is a great way to get the blood and lymphatic system pumping, oxygenate the body and free up tight joints. Couple that with some full body stretching and you’ve got a recipe for good movement and health.
Your Osteopathic ‘WOF treatment’ is a great way to get the body moving, free up any restricted joint and boost circulation. It can also help reduce tension that has built up by coughing sneezing by decongesting the lungs and helping the ribs and diaphragm move efficiently. Or by settling those angry ribs down after a week of coughing fits.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health. If you want to maintain optimum health and get the most from the winter months, have a chat with an Osteo and with good treatment and health plan, you’ll be cruising through winter as everyone around you is falling over.