The Importance of Sleep to Help Your Body Fight Colds and Flu This Season

Can you recall a time in your life when you didn’t get enough sleep? For many of us,
this happens from time to time. We’re staying up late to study for finals in school. Or
how about those many sleepless nights after welcoming a newborn. Or maybe you
suffer from the occasional bout of insomnia. Think back on one of those times. Chances
are that those were also times when you were more likely to catch a cold or come down
with the flu or a stomach bug.

On the flip side, making sure you get plenty of quality sleep can serve as a sort of
insurance policy. It strengthens your immune system and helps your body fight off any
type of infection or threat that comes its way. In addition, your body will be able to heal
itself faster should you come down with something if you get plenty of rest. That’s why
your doctor often orders plenty of rest and fluids when you have a cold.

But why exactly is sleep so important both to boost the immune system to avoid getting
sick in the first place – and during the recovery period, should you come down with
something? Your immune system uses antibodies to fight infection. At the end of the
day, it works the same whether you’re preventing an infection from taking hold or
fighting one off that’s taken enough of a hold to make you feel sick. These antibodies
stick to the virus and affect cells, rendering them ineffective. The virus-antibody combo
can then be eliminated, which is why it is important that you drink plenty of fluids. It
makes it easier for your body to flush them out.

This still doesn’t explain the role of sleep, does it? I’m getting there. Your body produces
antibodies more effectively while you sleep. I’m no scientist, but I’m sure it has
something to do with the fact that your body isn’t busy doing everything else it has to do
as you move about your day, running around, eating, getting that papercut that requires
additional resources… you get the idea. While you are asleep, your immune system can
work more efficiently at producing antibodies and deploying them throughout the body
to fight the infection.

Keep this in mind the next time you’re tempted to burn the candles from both ends, and
use it as motivation to stay home and take a nap instead of heading into work when
you’re coming down with something.

“On the flip side, making sure you get plenty of quality sleep can serve as a sort of insurance policy. It strengthens your immune system and helps your body fight off any type of infection or threat that comes its way.”

Want access to the whole series in an easy to read e-book? Click the link below.

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Stay Healthy Through Good Diet and Exercise

One of the most important things you can do to avoid getting sick – and not just from
cold and flu, but anything else out there that’s contagious – is keep your body as strong
and healthy as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to eat a healthy diet and get
some sort of daily exercise. Here’s what that may look like.

Tips for Eating Healthy

Improving your diet to eat healthier can seem like a challenge. There’s a lot you can do.
The key is to start and make small improvements as you go along. A great place to start
is by cutting out sugar and processed foods. Replace them with whole foods options
where you can. Have an apple instead of a candy bar when you need a snack. Fix
some scrambled eggs instead of pouring a bowl of sugary cereal in the morning. Skip
the fast-food burger and fix a salad to take to lunch. You get the idea.

From there, I would encourage you to add more fresh fruits and vegetables. Try
something new. A new piece of produce, a new healthy recipe, a new way to cook your
favorite foods in a healthier way. Experiment and don’t be surprised if your tastes
change over time. A baked sweet potato will start to taste better while soggy burgers will
start to lose their appeal.

Simple Ways to Sneak More Exercise into Your Day

The key to regular exercise is to create a few habits. An easy way to start is to
incorporate a brisk daily walk. Something as simple as a stroll after dinner or first thing
in the morning can contribute to a healthy body. Another option many find helpful is to
wear a pedometer or fitness tracker. Monitor your daily step count for a few days and
then start to increase it until you get to the recommended 10,000 steps – or challenge
yourself to do even more.

Keep your bones strong and improve your overall fitness by adding some simple
weightlifting routines. You don’t need any fancy equipment. Use your body weight for
resistance and grab some cans to use as weights. Of course, if you’re feeling motivated,
you may also choose to join a gym or hire a personal trainer to help you get into a good
workout routine.

Between the healthy food you’re eating and the exercise you’re getting, you’ll start to
feel better, get stronger, and become healthier. As a result, your immune system will be
in a better position to protect you from whatever cold and flu season sends your way.

“One of the most important things you can do to avoid getting sick – and not just from cold and flu, but anything else out there that’s contagious – is keep your body as strong and healthy as possible. “

Want access to the whole series in an easy to read e-book? Click the link below.

Don’t forget about joining the email list so you never miss what’s going on in the world of business, products, and self-care for everything entrepreneurs and biz owners in the sidebar.