05. Mar 2019

Mag. Julia Wild

Healthy in all weathers

We’ve barely overcome the flu season and our immune system is already confronted with the next challenge: It is slowly becoming warmer. This means that many suffer from tiredness and allergies are in the wind once again. Read here how to best overcome the change of season in a healthy and energetic fashion.

What are your new year’s resolutions this year? Probably many want you to get rid of those pesky extra kilos from the holidays, do more sport, stop smoking, reduce stress, or maybe just live a healthier life in general. To make sure that the motivation sticks around, it may be worth it to sum up those resolutions and draw up a plan of action; then finally, sign it like a kind of “contract”. Copy this agreement and hang it up somewhere where it is easily visible like say the fridge, toilet door, or the wardrobe. This constant reminder of your resolutions increases the chance that you will actually go through with them. Another tip: tell your family and friends about your intentions – this is a big motivator.

Keep warm when you go out into the fresh air

Spring’s first rays of sunlight make it very tempting to right away swap your thick winter coat for a spring jacket and instead of using those warm winter boots slip into lighter shoes. But beware! In March, it can get icy cold, especially at night. This significantly increases the risk of catching a flu-like disease with symptoms like a runny nose, a sore throat, and a cough. Once wrapped up well enough, be sure to spend as many hours in the fresh air as possible. A brisk stroll or a first round with the bike help to strengthen the immune system and deplete any accumulated fat deposits from the winter. For those who still find it too cold outside can resort to training at home or going to a gym. Whereby one should always remember to take one’s individual physical starting point into account: Untrained people should begin with moderate physical exercise which slowly builds up over time. Optimally, this should be done accompanied by a trainer or an experienced friend. When it comes to chronic diseases, injuries, or other handicaps, one should consult a doctor beforehand who will create an adapted sports programme. It is generally advisable to opt for a healthy balance of endurance- and strength training.

Energy straight from the fridge

In order to protect itself from pathogens and have enough energy to get us through tiring days, our body needs food which is packed with vitamins and trace substances. Ideally you should already begin eating such food for breakfast. Especially when its frosty cold outside a warm breakfast, say porridge, wakes up one’s life spirit, and warms from within. Porridge becomes especially nutritious when it’s combined with toppings such as seasonal fruits, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, hemp- and chia seeds, walnuts, cinnamon, or dates. The ideal snack for the morning should contain both protein and fibre. This could be wholemeal bread with cottage cheese and paprika, a handful of nuts, a banana or a smoothie made from vegetables, fruits, and yoghurt. Moreover, try to integrate as many healthy foods in your lunch and dinner. Heavily processed foods should also be avoided. Colourful salads, stews with pulses, wholemeal noodles, brown rice, potatoes, lean meat etc. are all rich in nutrients and are very filling.

In order to protect itself from pathogens our body needs food which is packed with vitamins and trace substances.

Counting calories may not be fun but you should still keep an eye on how many calories you consume. Naturally, weight gain is dependent on the amount of consumed energy. If you plan on losing weight then it is necessary that there is a difference between the consumed- and burnt calories. Disregarding the daily amount of consumed food, it is important to make sure that your body is being supplied with enough carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, as well as trace elements. By the way, the myth that our body shifts into “starvation mode” once we restrict our calorie intake is quite simply false. Most people just eat too much after doing a diet and therefore oftentimes gain more weight than they lost.

Pollen approaching

Those who think that people suffering from allergies don’t start getting symptoms until April or May are mistaken: Some pollen is already whirring around as early as January or February. These include the pollen from hazel-, alder-, and elm trees. Those who are affected by this already feel a heavy burden as early as February which persists till March. Because an untreated allergy may become stronger or even progress to asthma, it is important to seek out an allergist who can recommend a suitable treatment. There is the possibility of doing a specific immunotherapy (SIT) where controlled amounts of the substance causing the allergy are given over a longer time period. In this way, the body can develop a tolerance towards these substances. Another therapy option is the therapy of the mucous membranes. The mucous membranes of the gut, lung, and nose in people suffering from allergies are damaged. The therapy of the mucous membranes with specific probiotics tackles the origin of the allergy and is especially advisable when people are allergic to numerous substances.

Tips against spring fatigue

Many suffer from fatigue when the weather begins changing. To avoid falling asleep at your desk be sure to get lots of light, fluids, and exercise in the fresh air. Moreover, good old contrast showers can quickly do away with exhaustion and lack of motivation. Try to maintain your social contacts, undertake activities, and simply go outside! Because: those who simply give in to spring fatigue have a harder time adjusting to daylight saving time at the end of March.

 
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