Keeping healthy during the chilly months

The feeling of Christmas feeling is here as the weather suddenly cools throughout the country of Belize. But sometimes this drastic and sudden change of temperature can cause many of us to suffer from the nagging cold, flu and other respiratory disorders. What can we do from a health and lifestyle perspective when the “chilly wind” begins to blows upon our ‘little Belize’?

1. Start with exercise: A brisk walk outdoors every morning for about 30 to 45 minutes can “warm up the system” and increase circulation as well. In addition, exercise also elevates our BDF – Body Defense Force (White Blood Cells) – whose job is to help increase resistance to germ invasion.

2. Enjoy a Moderate amount of Sunlight: 

I think you will agree with me when I say that our country is blessed as we can experience “multiple weather changes” in just one day. Recently we have been experiencing a ‘little chill’ in the nights and early mornings over the pass few weeks. Yet, within this same 24 hour period, we are getting a lot of sunshine.

Research shows that 15-20 minutes of exposure to the sunlight during the cool season can increase the action of the white blood cells, consequently building up our immunity to fight against diseases. Sunlight also kills germs in the atmosphere making us less susceptible to inhaling pathogenic microorganisms.

3. Circulation of clean air: 

Always be sure that there is some air circulating throughout the home. Open your bedroom window, at least a crack at night. Crisp cool air and the freshness of circulating breeze enhances health and helps with the prevention of many wintertime illnesses. Nevertheless, avoid sitting in a draft where a chilly wind blows on your neck, face, or other exposed body parts.

4. Cover up properly: 

When outdoors or if you sleep in a cold room, keep your extremities and exposed skin warm. Prevent heat loss by wearing a cap if your hair is thin or non existent, a neck scarf or high collar and socks and gloves as the needs arise.

5. Avoid excessive intake of sweets:

Don’t sabotage yourself, especially during the cold period of the year, by eating candy, ice-cream and extra helpings of sweet desserts – even natural ones! Excessive intake of sugar will decrease your white blood cells‘s ability to destroy pathogenic invaders. Even an excess of fruit juice can be hazardous because of the refinement and concentration of soluble nutrients, including sugar.

Instead, eat plenty of protective foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, which are high in necessary vitamins and minerals and add bulk for proper elimination.

6. Drink plenty of clean purified water:

The kidneys play an active and important role in the elimination of body toxins. To help them do their job, drink plenty of pure water between meals – at least 8 to 10 glasses daily, even though you are not sweating as usual around this time of year or even feel thirsty.  Water is a great internal and external cleanser. Wash hands frequently with soap, and enjoy a hot bath followed by a cold shower. It does wonders to the circulatory system while building the immunity of the body as well.

7. Get a good night’s rest: 

A vital part of healthful lifestyle is getting the right quantity and quality of rest. During this time the body grows, repairs damage, and even restores energy, preparing itself for another day of activity. When the body is deprived of sleep, it is unable to rebuild and recharge itself. In addition, sleep deprivation impairs the brain and break down the immune system. One research reveals that losing as little as three hours of sleep in a single night can cut the effectiveness of your immune system in half.

Armed with exercise, sunshine, a good diet, plenty of water, fresh air and a good night’s rest, you can remain healthy during the chilly months.

May the good Lord help us to exercise our willpower, stay in His Son’s light, drink from His words, eat the bread of life and rest in His everlasting love while avoiding the draft of all evil!

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