In past years, during this time of year I have always talked about how we need to supplement with Vitamin D and limit sugar to give our immune system a fighting chance to ward off all the germs and bugs we will be exposed to during this season. Yes, those are still important and I still recommend attempting to do that. But, I am not doing good at following my own advice this year....I may have started my holiday baking early last week to get a head start, and of course I started with my favorite cookie. Yes, my recipe is a healthier version, but within 3 days, the batch was gone...oops! Basically what I am trying to say is, avoiding sugar this time of year can feel near impossible. Why? Because holiday baking is part of my favorite memories around Christmas time, so that isn't something I personally want to give up. I always preach, do what you love, and baking for Christmas and enjoying a bit of indulgence does bring me happiness and I never feel guilty about it or regret it. Now if you feel guilty about it, maybe you need to address the issue. So lets get down to business, what are these 4 things to be aware of the holiday season?
1. Get Adjusted: Yes I am a chiropractor, so of course I would recommend that. Well yes, but people who regularly get adjusted for wellness have an immune system that is 200% stronger. So that is super easy! Imagine all the cookies and sweets you can eat with an immune system that strong haha!
2. Stay Hydrated: This is important for two reasons. 1- if you are dehydrated your first line of defense (immune system in your nasal passage, mouth, etc) cannot function properly without proper hydration. 2-if you are well hydrated you will be able to monitor food intake better. I am sure by now most of you have heard that when you feel hungry, it could actually be your body signaling it needs more water. SO do yourself a favor and stay hydrated this season.
3. SLEEP: With all the holiday parties, to-do lists, and mountain of thigs to do sleep usually lacks for many people this time of year. Lack of sleep can stress out our body, and a stressed out body cannot fight viruses as efficient as a well rested body. A sleep deprived body is also typically going to crave sugar for energy, we also typically make poor food choices when we are tired. So do your immune system and skinny jeans a favor and get some extra ZZZZZ's, you wont regret it!
4. Stress: this goes along with #3, but beyond a lack of sleep stressing out our body. The holidays are a source of stress for many people. Stress of meeting others expectations, stress of spending money, stress of how full the schedule is, stress of 'how will I get all this done by Christmas', family stress, stress of our loved ones not being with us to celebrate any longer, and the list goes on. There are a million things to stress over, so do your best to simplify, delegate, and focus on what matters to you. When we are stressed for long periods of time our body will naturally store fat and our immune function will decrease.
Hope you got some useful info from this. So this holiday season, enjoy a few weeks of indulgence in the things you love, or the things you have fond memories of. And also focus on your health by getting adjusted, staying hydrated, getting good quality sleep, and eliminating any stressors you can. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!