You hear a a lot about building your immune system for winter. The change of season definitely brings it challenges.
But, when my toddler started nursery, I seriously underestimated the need to build our daily immunity for the relentless bombardment of viruses headed our way.
I’d been warned to ‘expect a few bugs’.
But I’m not sure I’ll describe it as just a few bugs. Anyway you get the picture. Brace yourselves if you have little ones starting nursery soon!
We have not been living our best lives here in the Masters household.
Poor little Finners has suffered the most who after a fairly healthy first 18 months of his life must be wondering what the hell is going on right now.
I mean there must be only so many things we can catch, fingers crossed we'll be out the other side soon.
If your little one is about to go into nursery you may want to lighten your social and work calendars just in case and of course, do what you can to boost your immunity before you start.
Get the following strategies into your routine for your best chance of defence….
Eat Rainbows - We all know we should be eating five portions of fruit and vegetables at day. Firstly, treat this as the bare minimum and aim to eat as large a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables as you can. Eat five oranges and you’ll only benefit from the nutrients in an orange. Fruits and vegetables are not all created equal so diversify your choices. Easy ways to up your intake are fruit smoothies, vegetable soups and frozen vegetables.
Supplement - Even with a nicely balanced nutritious diet, there will be gaps. We don’t all eat perfectly 100% of the time and often the food we eat will lose a lot of its nutritional value through the way it has been picked, packed and cooked. Taking supplements can give you a good baseline of nutrients as a back up. As a general starting point I’d recommend Vitamin C, B, D (or a good quality multi vitamin), Magnesium and Omega 3.
Rest - This is difficult with young children, you’re not always in control of your own recovery. But, you are in control of your sleep hygiene which can improve the quality of the sleep you are getting. Get to bed early, avoid caffeine and sugar, avoid tech for an hour before bed and create a relaxing evening routine (bath, meditation, gentle stretch). Give your body and mind that wind down opportunity and you’ll find yourself falling into a deeper sleep faster.
Reduce Stress - Stress is a huge cause of illness amoungst adults and whilst you’re not always in control of circumstances that stress you out, you can control how you react and how you feel. Where you can, limit your exposure to the stressful circumstances (news, people - slightly trickier) and introduce ways of dealing with stress into your day-to-day life, breath work, meditation, reducing alcohol and spending time in nature can all help you reduce stress.
Exercise - Whilst not directly linked to fighting that cold or tummy bug, exercise is one of the pillars of a healthy body, so always good to have in the bag.
The stronger you are, the healthier you feel and the easier life is - even when you’re not feeling 100%.
Hope this helps and best of luck.