So I just did a talk with the University of Toronto women's basketball team on how they can decrease spreading and catching colds and flus. It seems like in Toronto we've already been hit with a wave of flu-like illness despite the unseasonably warm weather we've had in the last couple of weeks. Nevertheless, fall is here and that means we have to start thinking about ways to boost our immune systems! If you've been following me on Instagram (@drchond), you've gotten a sneak peek at what I like to do in the fall to prep my body. Those things include eating well, spending time outdoors, doing a bit of a fall detox, and taking some key supportive supplements (like the products seen . Those things help prep my body so that if I am around bugs, my immune system will be able to appropriately attack and recover within a reasonable time.
We can do a lot for our immune systems, but we can't completely avoid coming in contact with germs and microbes. We're constantly around people, who have been around lots of other people, and so we are exposed to many different things on a daily basis. Below you'll find a few tips I shared with the athletes on how to minimize risk of exposure this cold/flu season. Keep in mind that many of these athletes live in group type housing (dorms/residences/duplexes), attend classes with 100s of other students, and are in close quarters with their teammates on a daily basis. You may not need to take all of these steps, but they are good to keep in mind!
WASH YOUR HANDS! Frequently. Especially before eating, before/after practice, after coughing, touching someone else’s stuff, etc.
WASH YOUR CLOTHES, bedsheets, pillow cases, practice gear, towels, etc regularly. Hygiene 101 y’all. If you cough into your hoodie sleeve, wash it!
Wipe down your phone/computer/tablet regularly.
Sharing is caring but not if you’re trying to avoid sickness! DO NOT share the following:
Utensils/food that could have saliva on it
For those in residences/dorms: avoid hosting a lot of people in your room because they will bring you germy presents.
AVOID REFINED SUGARS. This includes any added sugars you might find in packaged and prepared foods (candy, chocolate, Timbits, granola bars, sweetened coffee drinks/ French vanilla cappuccino/frapps, etc). Sugar depresses your immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness.
EAT LOTS OF VEGGIES and moderate amounts of food. Because it’s good for you in too many ways to list… fiber, vitamins, minerals, decreased cancer risk, liver health, etc.
SLEEP! Aim for at least 7-8 hours a night and be in bed by 11pm. This is important in order for your immune system to function properly.
DRINK WATER! 2 liters a day + 750ml for each hour of physical activity you do. You need it to hydrate your skin and other connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia, muscles, etc) so you don’t feel like a bag of crap. If you experience headaches, fatigue, brain fog and/or dizziness, you probably aren’t drinking enough.
Last but not least: if you are starting to not feel well, you may need to stay away from everyone else. It’s about doing what’s best for the collective. Don’t be a hero…
If you do most of these things and find that you get hit with colds/flus pretty hard, it may be useful to see a naturopathic doctor! Contact me for more information.
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