Boost Your Immune System with these 6 Simple Substitutions

It’s important that coming into the cold and flu season we all do what we can to boost our own immunity. There’s no need to completely change your life and buy dozens of supplements and potions – you can make small changes to improve your overall health, one small step at a time.

Here are 6 simple substitutions to help you be healthier with a stronger immune system.

Have one less cigarette a day

We’re not here today to tell you to ‘give up smoking’ because if you smoke, you probably hear that all the time already. But we are going to ask you to have one less cigarette each day. The easiest way to do that is to skip your first smoke of the day. For some that will be as soon as you wake up, for others it’s when you come home from work. Some of you might only smoke when you drink. Regardless, cut back on that first cigarette. That means you’ll have 7 less smokes a week, 30 less a month. That’s huge! And every cigarette you avoid gives your body a better fighting chance against this year’s nasties.

To get help cutting back, come in and talk to our staff about nicotine replacement therapy and other options.

Choose a healthier lunch option

Swap out your jam sandwich for avocado and tomato. Pick a wholegrain bread instead of white. Instead of a side of fries, ask for a small salad. By focusing on making just one meal a day more nutritious you’re changing your habits and improving your health.

Our trained staff and nutritionist can help you make better nutrition choices! Whether you want to lose weight, have more energy or just get back on track with your diet, come in and let us help you feel better today

Before that next glass of alcohol, how about some water?

A lot of us could probably cut back a bit in this regard. Instead of cutting out alcohol altogether, an easier step is to space your drinks and increase your water intake. Your body takes a lot of energy to process each alcoholic drink, energy we need to help us fight off infection, and so reducing the number of drinks you have gives your body, especially your liver, some much-needed rest. Add a slice of lemon to make it feel a little more festive.

Unwind by taking a short walk

Instead of relaxing in front of the TV take a leisurely stroll around the block. Exercise improves the health of your heart and lungs and is known to improve your mood. By switching out some of the time you would usually spend sitting on the couch with 20-30mins of movement you’re improving your body’s ability to fight off disease.

Have your afternoon tea outside

Vitamin D is needed for healthy muscles and bones and the easiest source is spending a little time in the sun. A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with poor health and a weakened immune system, particularly around the body’s ability to fight infection. There’s a fine balance between too much sun and not enough, and so having a designated break outside each day will help you get the right amount.

If you have concerns about your vitamin D levels, come and talk to our staff

Instead of winding down with your phone in bed, read a book

You might read a magazine or newspaper instead, but the key thing here is to not spend time looking at a screen immediately before going to sleep. Technology before bed interrupts the production of your sleep hormone melatonin. Good sleep is vital for a strong, healthy immune system, and poor sleep also affects how quickly you bounce back from illness.

If you don’t feel refreshed when you wake up, come in and talk to our sleep specialists.

Improving your body’s natural defences can seem like a daunting task. But a few small changes here and there will soon add up, giving your body’s immune system the support it needs to fight off infection, and help you recover when you become ill.

Making the Most of your New Year Resolutions!

New Year resolutions have always been very popular and usually involves changing an undesired trait or behaviour. Others take it as an opportunity to set a health or wellbeing goal, such as losing weight, doing more exercise or quitting smoking.

Sadly most people don’t achieve their New Year resolutions because they either make them unrealistic, or they don’t put enough thought into the goal. Anything can be achieved if we REALLY want it.

New Year resolutions give us the perfect opportunity to start making changes at those things we have failed at changing next week or next month – it’s a new chapter, and a clean slate to start fresh.

As with all changes, they are most successful if we do some planning. Unfortunately, we can’t say, “I’m going to quit smoking,” without first doing some planning, research, and setting mini-goals to ensure the goal is achieved.

Below are my top ten New Year resolutions, and some hints and tips on how to ensure you achieve them. If we achieve them, we find ourselves going into the next year with renewed energy and confidence to make another great change.

  • Stop Procrastinating – The biggest barrier that keeps most people from reaching their goals is the desire to relax and do something fun instead of working hard. Once you get used to procrastinating it’s difficult to snap yourself out of it, so you’ll need to put in a lot of work to change this bad habit.
  • Get In Shape, Eat Healthier and Exercise More – Losing weight is the top resolution for Aussie’s and combined with “exercise more” and “stay fit and healthy” it is something that most people wish to achieve. It’s easy enough to start an exercise and diet program, but the trick is to find a decent one that will give you steady results and will be easy to stick to in the long run. Sometimes recruiting a workout buddy will help keep you motivated and on track.
  • Become More Confident and Take Some Chances – If you are confident other people notice it, and it is much easier to have your opinions heard, ask people out on dates and get ahead in life. A good dose of self-confidence will help you lead a much happier life overall. Believe in yourself, and use positive language!
  • Reduce Stress – They say that stress is one of the biggest killers out there, and it can have a very destructive effect on your relationships as well as your health. It may be an unavoidable side effect of our hectic modern lifestyles, but it can be effectively managed with the help of useful, unconventional and easy to practice tricks for stress management. Don’t take on too much, and don’t be afraid to ask others for help.
  • Quit Smoking – A bit of bad habit that a lot of people don’t know how to kick, smoking will not only endanger your health but can burn a hole in your wallet as well. Just be prepared – it will take a lot of will power to give up cigarettes entirely – recruit the help of a health professional (like your pharmacist). We are a lot more successful if we have support and understanding.
  • Become More Polite – Good manners have always been important. They make it easier to connect with others, avoid offending people and will ensure that others perceive you as a good and trustworthy person. Learn how to deal with rude people in the right way and learn how to say no.
  • Meet new people – When we get stuck in a rut, we usually end up staying at home most of the time, missing out on a lot of interesting opportunities for networking and having fun. Meeting new people can be beneficial to your mental well-being and help your career, so don’t be afraid to get out there and make some friends. Overcome your shyness, gain some knowledge and get to know new and interesting people.
  • Get More Sleep – With big TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets and all sorts of gadgets with glowing lights and beeping alerts, it can be hard to get enough sleep at night. You should be aiming for at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Eating well, exercising daily and limiting all technology in the hour before bed can help us achieve a restful sleep.
  • Start Drinking in Moderation or Quit Drinking Altogether – While it is completely safe and healthy to drink one or two alcoholic beverages each day, not a lot of people can say that they can follow this rule effectively. Getting your drinking under control has many benefits, but it can be a difficult process. Aim for two alcohol-free nights each week, and if you feel you have an alcohol dependence problem, have a chat with your GP.
  • Stick to the Good, Healthy Habits You’ve Developed – The last, and most important point to mention is that all the positive changes you make have to be permanent. You will need to work on sticking with the good changes you have adopted until they just become part of who you are. That is how you achieve true self-improvement, empowerment and ensure your goals are achieved.

Two more points worth noting, in order to help you achieve your goals this year:

  • Write Them Down – do your goals seem achievable? If not, then you will need to set some mini-goals to help you on your path to your resolution.
  • Display your Goal in a Prominent Place – the more you see it, the more determined you become to achieve it, and also discuss your resolutions with others. Gaining support or even recruits will only help more for the goal to be achieved.

If you find yourself struggling to get on track to achieve your goal, then change it! You can always make small changes to increase your confidence. Increased confidence helps us in achieving the main resolution.

Feeling inspired? Want to share your New Year Resolutions with the world? Let us know them in the comments below! What are your New Year Resolutions this year?

Chapman & Wood