6 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

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Winter can bring about a whole host of problems and obstacles when it comes to staying healthy. It is, of course, cold and flu season.

Winter also brings about a lot of holidays and holiday parties, which can throw a wrench into any healthy eating regimen. Add alcohol at those gatherings, the stress of being extremely busy, holiday shopping where you’ll come across many people with a cold, and it’s a recipe for a health disaster.

And there’s no cure for the common cold. So how exactly can you keep yourself from having all your energy zapped out of you while ending up flat on your back on the couch for days, despite that mile long to do list?

So, you’re surrounded by sick people, your stress levels are high, you’re really busy, and your eating isn’t as healthy as it would be under normal circumstances. It doesn’t sound good!

But don’t worry. All is not lost! There are ways to stay healthy this winter!

  1. Get Your Sleep

No matter how busy you are or what you have to get done, getting enough sleep is absolutely crucial to a healthy body and mind! You can not skimp on sleep!

Your body needs time to rest and recover, even more so when stress levels are higher, which is definitely the case around the end of year holiday season.

You may also want to cut back on your workouts during the winter to make sure your body has time to recover. When your body is overworked and you aren’t getting enough sleep, it promotes an acidic environment, and this is a breeding ground for viruses and other nasty germs to have their way with you.

Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Yes, even on weekends. And do your best to get up about the same time every day, seven days a week.

  1. Relax, Chill Out, Kick Back

Whatever you want to call it, you need to find time to take the proverbial chill pill. A 2012 study that was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that people who had to deal with a very stressful occurrence were twice as likely to end up with the common cold.

So find some down time, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or just sitting quietly listening to mellow music. Even fifteen minutes a day can work wonders.

  1. Get Spicy

Take some turmeric. It contains curcumin which is an immune system booster, exactly what you need during cold and flu system. You can get whole turmeric powder in tablets or capsules.

  1. Bad For Your Breath But Good For Your Health

Another great immune booster is garlic. A study published in Advances in Therapy showed that garlic can decrease the frequency of the common cold by as much as 64 percent!

But cooking can ruin the active ingredients, so be sure to mash it or chop it and put some in a salad or something.

  1. Drink Your Green Tea

Green tea has high levels of powerful anti-oxidants to help keep you healthy. It also has high levels of catechin, which can fight and maybe even prevent damage to your cells.

And here’s something to go with “Chill Out” to get rid of that stress! Green tea is high in theanine, which has been shown to have a calming effect and can help you to unwind and relax.

  1. Try Some Echinacea

This one is still up for debate, and there are many in the medical community on both sides of the argument.

However, a study done in 2010 in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that while taking echinacea won’t help prevent a cold, it could possibly shorten the time in which you have the cold. It can’t hurt, so if you feel a cold coming on, you might want to try some.

Nothing you do will guarantee you don’t succumb to a cold this winter, but if you follow these simple tips to stay healthy, you’ll give yourself a great chance of doing so.

Even if you succumb to a cold, chances are you could be healthier, have more energy and feel less stressed throughout the winter.

Author : Aria Meyer is a freelance writer and an active blogger. She writes mainly about fashion and technology, but she also writes about other topics too. She is currently working with several e-commerce websites to help them with content. Aria received her Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Long Beach and is currently living in Walnut, CA. Right now, she is working closely with EMed Items to help them grow the marketing department.

Benefits of Maca Root

Until recently, I hadn’t heard of maca root.  I was working out with a friend. (Conveniently, she has exercise equipment in her basement). She showed me a bottle of powdered maca root that she had purchased from GNC; the label said that it was good for energy and libido. It actually dates back to ancient Incan history. I was intrigued. I tasted some of her grilled broccoli seasoned with maca powder; it was very flavorful, like stir-fry broccoli.

When I researched it further, I saw that it has lots of benefits for both men and women.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction and Fertility. As previously mentioned, maca root has been used historically to boost male libido. It improves sperm count, which improves fertility. One culprit of erectile dysfunction is heavy alcohol consumption; however there can be other factors such as chronic illnesses (i.e. diabetes), stress, medication, or injury.
  2. Endurance.  In addition to increasing testosterone, maca also increases endurance for athletes. As your energy levels increase, so does your endurance. (As an addition, I’m sure it will help your sexual stamina as well).
  3. Menopause and Menstruation. Whether we are childbearing or middle age, as women, we know that both of these can be a pain to bear (pun intended). Maca root helps to balance hormone levels and alleviate symptoms such as menopausal hot flashes, menstrual cramps, PMS, fatigue, and heavy or irregular cycles.
  4. Acne. Since most acne outbreaks are hormonal, it makes sense that maca would clear up this issue dramatically.
  5. Depression.  People that suffer from depression have low levels of serotonin in their bodies. Maca has been shown to increase these levels. Again, it all relates to energy. When you suffer from depression, you have little or no energy. It is difficult to get out of bed even if there is a reason to do so.

Maca is also called “Peruvian ginseng“. If you decide to try it, it is available in both capsules and powder form at any health food or vitamin store.

An Alkaline Body pH can prevent a Host of Diseases

From General Chemistry, you learn about pH and its scale. All acidic substances have a pH ranging from 0-6; alkaline or basic substances have a pH ranging from 8-14. Neutral pH is 7, which is that of water. Your blood pH is typically ranges from 7.3 to 7.4.

For those of you that aren’t a science geek like me, you just need to know that body pH affects your overall health. In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace prize for his cancer research.   Normal cells take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. According to Warburg’s research, cancer cells ferment sugar instead, which makes an acidic environment. If you can avoid or at least reduce certain foods, beverages, or other toxic behaviors that cause an acidic pH, you can reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. Here is a list of things to try:

  1. Keep alcohol to a minimum. Alcohol is toxic to your liver in large amounts in addition to being addictive. However, drinking red wine does have benefits. In some cultures, they drink wine with every meal. For instance, in the early 1990s, French researchers reported the “French paradox”; the French eat a diet high in saturated fat yet have a very low incidence of cardiovascular disease (National Geographic). Drinking one or two glasses of red wine per day can reduce the risk of heart disease. Remember, everything in moderation.
  2. Stop drinking soda. I’ve stressed this in the majority of my posts. One of the ingredients listed for soda is phosphoric acid, obviously a culprit. See my post on Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda-Regular and Diet.
  3. Watch stress levels. Stress creates negative energy; therefore, your body is going to reactive negatively.
  4. Eat leafy, green vegetables, cooked and raw. Green vegetables are a good source of fiber and help eliminate carcinogens from our body. Eating one or two large salads most days can help the body heal itself. When you get bored with salad, try adding pomegranate seeds or red peppers (sweet or roasted) to them. Pomegranate seeds are very tasty and contain antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure.
  5. Watch caffeine levels. I’ve already discussed soda. I’ll admit that I love coffee, but I only drink one cup a day if at all. Too much caffeine can make you irritable and jumpy.
  6. Drink green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants and helps with weight loss. It is very soothing and calms you when you drink it hot. Choose a brand that you like. You can never go wrong with organic.
  7. Stop smoking. This is a given. I haven’t heard any benefits coming out of it.
  8. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This is found in almost everything from ketchup, soda, BBQ sauce, and the like. Be sure to read food labels. This is designed for us to become fat and addicted to certain types of food.
  9. Reduce your consumption of processed and fast foods. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I don’t see long lines at the McDonald’s drive-thru like in the past. In a world of busyness, these are the things that we run to because it’s quick. A cheeseburger and fries is delicious when you cook it yourself or from a trusted restaurant. You know that the meat is hormone-free.
  10. Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration, for clear skin, and to keep bowel functions regular. I prefer spring or filtered water. Tap water contains chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, which you don’t want to drink.

Trying a few if not all of these suggestions should make a difference in your overall health. I lost 25 lbs. over time. When I learn techniques that work, I share that information with others.

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