Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Autumn Heath Check

1. Am I eating properly? Proper nutrition is key to a healthy immune system. If your body’s defences aren’t strong, then you won’t be able to ward off the bugs. Sometimes our food choices change with the change in temperature. We stop eating as many healthy salads and fruits that provide us with the vitamins and antioxidants we require for a healthy immune system. It is suggested that for good health, we enjoy a minimum of three cups of fresh vegetables each day.

2. Am I getting enough sleep? A lack of sleep compromises our immune system and you will be more likely to get sick, especially after being exposed to a virus such as the common cold. A lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover from an illness. Most of us require between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you are finding it hard to get this, try increasing your intake of magnesium rich foods.  Magnesium helps you to feel more relaxed and enjoy a deeper sleep.

3. Is regular exercise part of my routine? Regular activity not only reduces the risk of picking up a bug, but also helps your body to be more resilient if you do get sick. Research shows that moderate, consistent exercise helps to support a healthy immune system. 

4. Do I drink enough water? Autumn can be a very drying time of year. If you keep yourself hydrated, your mucous membranes will not dry out and can work more effectively to filter out anything unwanted. Drinking water is a simple inexpensive way to good health. Most people need a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day, with an extra 750ml for each 1 hour of exercise. Being well hydrated is also vital for good kidney function and to help flush toxins away.

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Adapted from Ideal Health (http://www.healthy.co.nz)

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