Unfortunately it’s a fact: The holidays, from Christmas to New Year’s, are a treacherous time when it comes to our health. According to John Young, M.D., author of Beyond Treatment: Discover how to Build a Cellular Foundation to Achieve Optimal Health, heart attacks and other cardiac issues are more common, the number of pneumonia cases spikes, and more deaths from natural causes occur. There’s some serious motivation for focusing on wellness in the next couple weeks and encouraging clients to do the same. Here are Young’s tips for staying healthy amid the sugar and stress:
- Get your vitamin D! Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin, and one of our best sources for it is sunshine. Unfortunately, many people work indoors all day, so they get little sun exposure. And, of course, in the wintertime, people in cold climes tend to stay inside. As a result, many of us are vitamin D deficient, and should be taking supplements.“Vitamin D is crucial to many physiological systems, including our immune defenses,” says Young. “It helps fight bacterial and viral infections, including the flu. It supports our cardiovascular system; optimal vitamin D levels can reduce hypertension, heart attacks and stroke.
- Eat your protein (1 gram for every 2.2 pounds of body weight daily) In this country, we think a healthy diet means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. According to Young, we’ve forgotten protein.“Our immune system is made up of proteins—our bones are 40 percent protein,” he says. “We need protein.” When calculating your protein intake, consider: an egg has about 8 grams, and 8 ounces of fish, chicken, beef, or pork have about 30 grams.
- Get a good night’s sleep, exercise, and manage your stress. Rest, exercise and finding effective, healthy ways to cope with stress are simple ways to pamper your cells.“One of the many cellular benefits of exercise is that it increases the oxygen in our bloodstream,” says Young. “Every cell in our body requires oxygen, so consider exercise another means of feeding your cells.”It’s also important to manage stress during the holidays. With unchecked stress, our body releases large amounts of cortisol, which, among other things, suppresses the immune system. “Take time out to meditate, listen to music, or take a walk in the woods,” Dr. Young says. “It feels good – and it’s good for you!”
How does your spa help clients stay healthy now and all year round?