Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas and the Immune System

While we are on the theme of immunity and staying healthy over Christmas, here are a few pointers which may help with immunity during the busy festive time, when the normal training routine is often disrupted.

Christmas is the season to celebrate; there can be lots of late nights with visits and Christmas parties to be enjoyed. A lack of sleep, too much stress, eating poorly and being in contact with people who may be ill, all increase the risk of illness.

1. Stay hydrated

Make sure that you drink plenty of water as well as your other drinks so you stay hydrated and try to drink water as soon as you can when you wake up to rehydrate.

2. Plan when you train

With clubs and sports centres taking closed over Christmas, athletes often have greater flexibility with when they train.  Plan your training so that hard sessions don't follow late nights.  It's also a good idea to train in the morning before visitors and distractions makes you have to choose between doing your training and enjoying Christmas.

3. Moderate your diet

Some of the foods associated with Christmas do offer good nutritional content, its just about moderation and not over indulging in the bits - such as chocolates and sweets - which may have a lower nutritional content.
  • Cranberries - High in Vitamin C, which is great for immity, and anti-inflammatories
  • Turkey - Good source of protein and is often leaner than other sources of meat protein
  • Parsnips - Excellent source of Potassium, which regulates hydration and is involved in muscle contractions
  • Salmon - Sometimes an alternative choice at Christmas and a good source of omega 3 fats
  • Carrots - Excellent source of antioxidants, beta-carotene, Vitamin A and Vitamin C
  • Brussel Sprouts - Often a Christmas must - but are also a great source of Vitamin C
  • Walnuts - Perhaps cracked open as a post-lunch snack - but a great source of Omega 3 fats
Fruit salad, dried fruit and salads are also good, nutrition-packed food options, which offer some protection against Christmas colds and viruses.

So enjoy your Christmas meal and the celebrations.

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