Health + Wellness

Herbalist and wellness expert reveals how to stay well during lurgy season 

Herbalist and wellness expert reveals how to stay well during lurgy season 

With the cold weather VERY much here to stay, it is important to make sure that our immune system is up to par with the colder environments and the associated mental and physical stresses that are placed upon us.

When the weather takes a turn, so does our mood and outlook on life, so it is key that we find ways that keep us, not only in good spirits but in good nick. We have created some tips that can be done for free to keep us fighting fit and some which require us to purchase some things and get creative.

“Exercise – 3-4x per week at the minimum. Keeping yourself fit physically will transfer over into keeping fit mentally. Try not to overdo it on the HIIT classes as after a while that will end up weakening your immune system due to the amount of stress that puts on the body.”

“Cold showers – do these after a warm shower, and start off slow. Slowly go from warm to cold and start with a low time in the cold and build up. Building up resistance is key (see it as training for a marathon, you’re not going to run the marathon straight away unless you have a death wish). Start off with 20 seconds and gradually build up to 1 minute.”

“Meditation with visualisations – visualisations have shown to be useful in creating positive reactions within the body. Meditate and visualise yourself feeling healthy, strong, fit, and happy and really allow yourself to feel that on a deeper level..”

“Cover your neck and head when it gets cold. Covering these parts of your body is a safe way to ensure that no nasty chills are going to sneak in through the back door and cause a little havoc on your system. Scarfs, hats, beanies, use them all to get nice and snug and keep the cold chills at bay.”

“Have warming and nourishing dishes – stews, casseroles using plenty of spices and herbs such as ginger, cayenne, cumin, rosemary, and thyme – really wonderful warming herbs which will also help with digestion and your immune system at the same time. Win-win.”

“Vitamin D3 with K2 – now that the sun no longer provides us with vitamin D, and if you didn’t spend any time in the sun between the hours of 10.30am-2.30pm (on average), then you will need Vitamin D3 with K2 – the K2 is an important factor in not allowing calcium to be leached into the blood vessels. Here we are looking at ranges from 2000-5000IU per day, although this may seem high to many, they are perfectly safe to take and your body will thank you for it.”

“Vitamin C – as we all know vitamin C is great for our immune system, but it is also imperative for the support of our hormonal and stress response system as our adrenals use it up when we are stressed. Whole spectrum Vitamin C is best here, you want to be looking for the bioflavonoids alongside the ascorbic acid to get every component of Vitamin C. Aim for 2-3g per day (spread out throughout the day) for the first few weeks, and then back to 1g per day as maintenance.”

“Zinc – zinc is a fundamental component for many functions in the body, especially in the immune system and the stress response. Aim for 30-40mg when falling sick, otherwise a maintenance dose of 20-25mg is plenty.”

“Rosemary, Thyme, Ginger tea – take one teaspoon of fresh rosemary, one teaspoon of fresh thyme, 1 cm of ginger (grate or chop finely) and infuse in hot water for 15mins, cover with a lid and then add some raw honey for a wonderful immune boost and tonic. As a wonderful addition, you can add elderberries (1 teaspoon) to this mix. Have 1-2 cups per day to keep you fighting fit and also nice and cosy as these are wonderfully warming and nourishing herbs. “If you want a classic immune system boosting tea then: peppermint, yarrow, elderberry and ginger is the one to go for. Mix into equal parts and have 1-2 teaspoons infused in a hot cup of water.”

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