The Real Reasons You Get Sick at The Holidays

Stress, sugar cookies, and sickness...for the general American population, this pretty much sums up a typical winter season, right? Lots of stress from traveling, an overwhelming excess of holiday parties, needy kids...pick your poison. That, in conjunction with all of the tempting holiday treats that are just calling our names in every room we walk into, all breeds for the development of some sort of sickness!
Yes, I know. You think I'm crazy and that you get sick simply because you're exposed to someone else who is sick. And you're not entirely wrong- you do have to be exposed to the germ to get sick at all, but the reality is that if your immune system is functioning at its absolute best, it should be able to appropriately combat that germ as it enters your body. So here at CFC, when a patient tells us they are sick, we don't look at it as a "germ exposure" problem, but instead as a "weak immune system" problem.
So as we go through this holiday season, keep some of these tips in mind to help keep your immune system at its best!

It all comes back to the foundation of chiropractic on this one: Your nervous system controls every. single. function. in your entire body- and your immune system is no exception to this rule. With regular chiropractic adjustments keeping your nervous system at its best, the immune system will receive better messages on how it needs to respond to what it encounters. 

For a whole five hours following sugar consumption, white blood cell efficiency is significantly decreased, and those white blood cells are one of the key players in your immune system response to invasion. Think about it: one holiday party is a few hours long and if you start your evening with a cookie, your immune system will be less than amazing the entire time you're exposed to all those people in what I can only assume is a relatively small room. Furthermore, everyone already knows how important Vitamin C is for your immune system. But what you may not know is that sugar in our body actually competes with Vitamin C to bind to cells, so this causes lower levels of Vitamin C! I'm not telling you not to enjoy ANY treats this holiday season (I'm not that mean!), but definitely set a limit for yourself and stick to it. Plus, your waist line will thank you for this one too. 

When we are stressed, our adrenal glands produce a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol actually decreases the effectiveness of immune system cell signaling, which makes you more prone to infection. Since it has been proven that meditation lowers cortisol levels in the body, it only makes sense to take time to meditate during these times, right?

Saying "no" to those family members or friends who you don't get to see any other time in the year is tough and unrealistic. So go ahead- take the time to spend with them for all of your holiday festivities. But also make sure that you schedule ME time. No, it's not selfish. By scheduling time to decompress and de-stress, you'll actually be recharging yourself so you can be a more fun and engaged person when you DO spend time with your friends and family!

Keeping up with resistance training and moderate intensity exercises helps to boost immunity! Make sure your schedule time for regular and quality time with some form of physical activity. 

Our digestive system comprises over 70% of our immune system! So it only makes sense to treat it right! Keep your diet low in sugars and processed foods, and make sure it is high in nutrient-rich foods to keep your belly and intestines happy! And if your diet isn't always incredible, ensure that you have appropriate supplementation ready to help fill in your nutritional gaps.

It's easy to not make sleep a priority during the holidays, but it's an absolute must! Allow your body that time it needs to recharge and start out each day with a full battery, ready to conquer anything it encounters in the day!

Do I guarantee this is a recipe to never get sick? No way. Even us docs in the office get sick form time to time. But what DOES happen is that we get sick less often, and our body is able to fight it much more quickly since our nervous and immune systems are in tip-top shape! Join us and see how these simple changes to your holiday routine can change the time of your entire winter season!