It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December is finally upon us and 2014 is drawing to a close. Here at InnoLabs, everyone is in the final sprint to finish the year strong and the energy in the building has never been higher! As everyone returned to the office yesterday from their Thanksgiving voyages, a chorus of coughing, sneezing, and other rather unpleasant signs of winter colds suddenly occupied InnoLabs. In an attempt at self-preservation (and to help keep all our lovely members as healthy as possible), I offer these 7 tips to keep you on top of your game this holiday season.
1. Stay Hydrated
The air is getting colder and drier, and you’re more likely to pick up a cold if you’re dehydrated. Staying hydrated in the winter keeps mucous membranes soft and moist, preventing tiny cracks that allow viruses and bacteria to enter.
Conveniently, our newest tenants, HeadStand Brands, had your best interest at heart yesterday with their water cooler inviting you to stay hydrated and say hi!
2. Keep Sanitizer on Hand
Watching out for your hands is the simplest way to fend off the cold-causing bacteria this winter. In addition to frequently washing your hands, keep a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your desk, in your car, or in your purse. Cold viruses tend to spread more from hand-to-mouth contact than through airborne droplets, making doors, escalator rails, elevator buttons, and ATM touch screens virus central.
3. Get a Massage!
Let our friends at MassageBook help find you a massage therapist nearby!
As if you really needed an excuse to get a massage, research conducted at Cedars–Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles suggests that a single Swedish massage session lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol and boosts several types of white blood cells, which protect the body against germs.
4. Snack Wisely
While you’re out running around trying to finish all of your holiday shopping, it’s easy to fall victim to a festive (calorie-packed) drink from Starbucks or any of the myriad of fast food options. Resist the temptation and pack some healthy snacks. Eating foods that are high in vitamin C will help keep your immune system strong, so include fruit and vegies such as lemons, kiwifruit, and broccoli in your weekly shop. A serving of nuts or a granola bar are easy on-the-go options as well!
Try to incorporate some of these Immune Boosting Foods into your diet too!
5. Sleep isn't Overrated
While many of us are guilty of burning the midnight oil, especially as the year draws to a close, it is crucial for our health and wellbeing to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who snoozed for less than seven. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to soft music or soaking in a warm bath. Avoid watching TV or using your computer just before bedtime and turn the lights down low an hour before you turn in for the night, as it will boost the release of melatonin in the brain.
6. Stay Active!
Especially as the holidays approach and our bi-weekly sessions with our friends Jeremy, Riley, and Steph at CrossFit Frequency become slightly less frequent, it is important to remember to stay active. Moderate physical activity is a powerful immunity booster. A 30 to 60 minute walk most days per week is considered moderate exercise.
Need a bit more motivation to get moving? Sign up for the Reindeer Run this Saturday, December 6th. Get dressed in fun holiday apparel and run or walk this 5k in downtown Charleston. You can even bring your dog!
7. Be Social
Socializing helps strengthen your immune system by keeping you active and reducing your stress levels, so avoid the temptation to hang out on the couch all winter. Invite friends over for dinner or host a game night, visit local museums and art galleries, or go check out the Festival of Lights with your family.