Staying Well Through the Holidays

Well, the holidays are officially here! This means that in the coming months, many of us will be traveling to gather with loved ones and celebrate! Aside from family and friends, if two things are synonymous with holiday festivities, they seem to be food and travel. Unfortunately, these two things can also be the greatest threats to our health.

 

No one wants to be sick over the holidays, and there’s nothing worse than having a cold caught in the airport spoil a visit with family.

 

Then there’s the food.

 

While holiday cookies make for tempting treats, a New Year’s Resolution to learn a new language or instrument is way more fun than trying to lose holiday weight you never had to gain in the first place!

 

So what can you do? Read on for some great ways to make sure you stay fit and healthy this holiday season!

 

How Avoid Getting Sick This Holiday

 

Tip 1: Stay Hydrated

While it seems obvious, staying hydrated is a huge part of combating illness, particularly that “airplane cold” we’ve all caught at one time or another. When your nasal cavities dry out, your natural defenses are significantly compromised, leaving you susceptible to all sorts of airborne pathogens, like the common cold. When you’re dehydrated, it also makes getting better more difficult, so even if you’ve already succumbed to the dreaded holiday cold, make sure you drink plenty of fluids!

 

Tip 2: Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Whether on the plane or in the airport, keep your hands to yourself! On a hard surface such as the cabin wall of an airplane, the flu virus can survive for up to twenty-four hours. In short, if you don’t have to touch something, don’t. Remember: a travel bottle of hand sanitizer coupled with frequent hand washing can go a long way towards protecting your health!

 

Tip 3: Supplement

Supplements can be one of your best friends when combating or preventing the common cold and other ailments. Supplements like Emergen-C and Counterattack have large doses of vitamin C to prevent illness, making them great pre-travel choices. Vitamin D3 is another great way to boost your immune system, particularly as the days get shorter and the natural vitamin D produced when you’re out in the sunshine fades. Make sure you take Vitamin D3 specifically. It’s the best for your body.

 

Other supplements, such as Oscillococcinum, work as holistic remedies to reduce the length of time you’re sick once a cold has struck. Another great addition to your diet is a probiotic. Probiotics maintain an essential balance of healthy bacteria in the gut—one of the most important lines of defense against illness!

 

Make sure you talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any regular supplementation.

 

How to Avoid Holiday Weight

 

Tip 1: Try Substituting Ingredients with Healthier Options

Things like unrefined flours for their refined counterparts might not save you a ton of calories, but making the changes will be better for you in the long run. Opting for flour made from whole wheat—or even rice, coconut and almond flours—allows you to add complex carbohydrates to your diet, meaning that dinner roll you ate will give you longer-lasting, steady energy, making you less likely to eat two.

 

Tip 2: Smaller Plates and Portions

Whether in the buffet line or around the dinner table, it’s often tempting to fill our plates around the holidays. With such abundance, it can be hard to say “no.” One way to trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more than you are is by choosing a smaller plate and limiting the amount of space to pile on food. This way, your mind says “feast” while your body says “just right.”

 

Tip 3: Go Easy on the Libations

While a glass of wine or two isn’t the end of the world, holiday alcohol consumption can be a real problem, particularly for your waistline. One average beer is the direct equivalent to seven slices of bread! By cutting down on your celebratory drinking over the holidays, you can ensure that all those extra carbs won’t come back to haunt you in the New Year! (Plus, you’ll avoid any nasty holiday hangovers and save face at the Christmas office party.)

 

So there you have it: six quick, easy and effective tips to stay well over the holidays and head into 2016 healthy and happy! Check back with us next month for our latest blog post and like our page on Facebook for new and exciting articles updated regularly!

 

Yours in Health,

Dr.Thomas Caley

6 Ways To Get A Better Nights Sleep

EFCSleep

It’s a universal truth—everyone would like to sleep better.

So what are the essential factors in getting better sleep?

Obviously, there are many habits we can adapt to aid in a better night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests developing a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading before bed, to slowly ease the mind and body into a calmed state, making for easier an easier time drifting off.

Additionally things like quitting smoking, limiting caffeinated beverages and putting away the electronics before bed can all result in more restful sleep.

But what if, after all of this, you still find it difficult to drift off?

For many us, work, stress or external stimuli aren’t the only factors keeping us up at night—according to a study appearing in the Journal of Sleep Research, as many as 53% of chronic pain suffers are also potential or fully-diagnosed insomniacs.

Although millions of people suffer from chronic spinal pain (resulting in poor sleep), the good news is there are plenty of things you can do!

Before you head to bed, consider doing the following:

  • Develop a regular exercise routine with a specific focus on core exercises. Not only will this increase your overall physical and mental health, but it will also provide the essential stabilization your spine needs. This means your spine will be less likely to fall out of line and retain its ideal form, which translates into less pinching and aching, making for a better night’s sleep!
  • Try Yoga before bed. Yoga has been proven to relax the muscles and release core tension. Another significant advantage of doing yoga before bedtime lies in its ability to align the spine. Starting out with a positive alignment of the spine ensures you start off right and can work to eliminate the chance of exasperating a misalignment—leaving you tossing and turning instead of restfully sleeping.

If these two tips don’t seem to be helping as much as you’d like, or you feel as if you could do something more, consider these changes for more quality rest:

  • Consider a new mattress. According to the UK Sleep Council, if you find that you are waking with aches and pains that begin to disappear of the course of the day or if you feel you were sleeping better a year ago, it is probably time for a new mattress.
  • When purchasing a new mattress, avoid an overly soft one. While these can feel comfortable at first, they can easily over-contour to your body, providing little to no support in places essential for correct spinal alignment.
  • If you experience neck pain, opt for a firmer pillow. When the weight of a person’s head rests on a pillow night after night, soft spots begin to develop. These spots allow the neck to fall into misalignment and can result in chronic neck pain.
  • Pay attention to your posture at work. Many people who spend their days at a desk exhibit poor posture, which manifests itself in poor spinal alignment. Try sitting on a yoga ball or adopting a standing desk, both of which have been proven to aid in achieving better posture over time.

While many people suffer chronic neck/back pain and the resulting insomnia, there are many, many ways to get a better night’s sleep. With a few simple changes, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be enjoying the level of restful, comfortable sleep we’d all like to experience more frequently.

And remember, if you’re experiencing sleep problems, visiting your Doctor of Chiropractic is a great first step. Just a few short sessions can jumpstart your way to a better nights sleep!