Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us! People will soon start succumbing to “the crud,” as I call it. My generic name for all things viral that make you feel … well … cruddy. Don’t you just love my grammar and vocabulary skills?

I’m past the midpoint of my life, and I’ve noticed a few things as I travel along. People my age tend to be overweight and out of shape, and they also tend to be hit harder when the latest comes around. They get sick faster and they stay sick longer. I noticed this trend 10 years ago and decided that I was having no part of it. I’ve learned a few things:

  • If you eat healthy foods, you don’t get as sick. What a concept! Eliminating foods that are processed, cooked in fat and covered in sugar has not only improved my physical health, it has also improved my emotional health. Who knew that eating chocolate and sugar could make you depressed? Eating healthy will also help you control your weight and reduce the risk of several life-threatening diseases, including diabetes.
  • Exercise improves your mental health as well as your physical health. It not only helps you control your weight, it gives you more energy and flexibility and increases your ability to cope with life as you get older.
  • Your body already knows how to cure itself. I’m a person who hates taking pills. I took them for years for all sorts of ailments from headaches to colds and flu. Then I started noticing the ads on TV from the pharmaceutical industry encouraging people to take a pill for everything from toenail fungus to dandruff. Every one of the ads carried a warning about death and dire consequences to the liver and kidneys as side effects. I noticed that even ibuprofin has dangerous side effects. So now I don’t do that unless I’m desperate for relief. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a Nazi about it. Medicine definitely has its place. But for me, it’s last on the list of other choices. I read this article explaining the benefits of getting a fever. I’m fond of bundling up under a bunch of blankets to fire up the afterburners and get those T-cells reproducing.
  • Massage is a great way to stay healthy. There have been dozens of studies on the benefits of massage, but as a massage therapist I already knew from observing my own clients that massage supports the immune system. My clients who come in on a regular basis are less inclined to get sick than their peers, and if they do get sick, they recover a lot faster.
  • Staying hydrated helps your body to function optimally. Good old H2O helps your cells stay lubricated, helps your lymphatic system fight off illness clear the “garbage” from your system.

So, if you want to stay healthy this season, get enough sleep, drink enough water, eat healthy foods (avoiding processed foods, sugars and fats), and book a regular massage. Mom was right all along.

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