You've been dreaming about your summer break for weeks, and when it finally comes, you get hit with a cold! What gives? Don't let minor cold & flu symptoms hold you back from a great holiday. Support your body with these tips so you spend less time recovering and more time having the fun you deserve!
Why do you get sick when you go on holidays?
Though there are many potential reasons, the most common ones are:
- Change of sleep schedule
- Lack of exercise
- Change in eating patterns (lots of junk food!)
- Increase in alcohol consumption
- Travel-related illness from different food and environments
Now that it's happened, let's focus on a solution that'll have you feeling great again in no time!
1. Fill up on anti-inflammatory foods
The first line of defence should be an all-round healthy diet. However, we know that holiday time can bring a big change in routine and also the kinds of foods you eat. Being more relaxed, you may be tempted to have a little more flexibility in your diet, which can be a great thing! However, when we overindulge too often, our bodies start to feel weary. If those indulgent Christmas lunches have turned into a daily affair, look to these anti-inflammatory foods:
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower
- Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, oranges
- Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
- Omega 3s found in salmon and other fatty fish
2. Go easy on your workout routineYou may have been working extra hard to reach your 'summer bod' goals, but sometimes more is not always better. If you've been hitting the gym hard, this is an extra stressor for your body to deal with. Even though you may love your workout sessions, there is too much of a good thing. Your central nervous system (CNS) still recognises them as stress, which can bring down your immunity even further. The key is to find a sweet spot, as exercise can produce endorphins and ultimately help you on the road to recovery too. Keep active by going on walks and doing light exercise. If you're unsure, a general guide to exercising when sick is that exercise is fine when symptoms are 'above the neck'. A common cold would fall under this category. However, if you're experiencing symptoms like fever, muscle aches and other flu-like symptoms, it's best to rest.
3. Stock up on specific immunity supporting vitamins and supplements
Probiotic: Probiotic 55 Billion by Herbs of Gold
Your gut is probably feeling a bit worse for wear after all the different foods you've eaten, plus the effect of external stressors. Try a broad-spectrum probiotic that will help replenish your good gut bacteria so that you can feel happy in your tummy again.
Greens: Ultimate Greens by b Raw
A quality greens powder is essential in any supplement regime, but especially when you're feeling under the weather. Have a scoop in the morning to start your day feeling fresh (and skip the caffeine for now, which can be dehydrating). You'll love the natural vitality and energy it can give you, and you may even decide you don't need that coffee anyway!
Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 1000IU by Henry Blooms
Vitamin D is a vitamin but acts like a steroid hormone in your body. It is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy immune system. Unfortunately, one in four Australians is experiencing vitamin D insufficiency. Could you be one of them? If you have low Vitamin D levels, the best way to get them up to scratch (aside from sun exposure) is through Vitamin D3 supplementation. Some foods (mainly animal foods) contain vitamin D, but not enough to support your daily needs.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C 1200mg Chewables by NutraLife
Vitamin C has long been used as a supplement to reduce the common cold's severity and duration. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can reduce free radical damage in your body. Load up on Vitamin C rich foods like pineapples oranges, broccoli, spinach and tomatoes to give your immune system that extra support. When you need more targeted help, look to Vitamin C supplementation to provide a more concentrated dose!
Echinacea: Echinacea Forte By Blackmores
Echinacea is another supportive supplement that has been used in Eastern and Western traditional medicine for a long time. Like Vitamin C, it can reduce the duration and the severity of the common cold symptoms. As it is a flowering plant, you can't find it in regular foods like vitamin C. Support your natural immunity with echinacea!
As always - consult with your medical professional when needed. Supplements are not designed to replace a balanced diet.