How To Naturally Prepare Your Body For Cold & Flu Season in 4 Easy Steps

Having to plan for COVID around cold and flu season has certainly given us more to be concerned about in the coming months. Now is the best time to begin preparing your body to fight off illness. In The Coronavirus Handbook, author Tess Pennington outlined some necessary points to keep your immune system as strong as possible during the time of year when you are most susceptible to illness. It is important to emphasize that herbs cannot cure a highly contagious virus, but they can certainly help boost your immunity. Turning toward natural remedies now will give you the knowledge and skills you need to keep your family well during flu season and in the event of a pandemic flu.  When you begin feeling that your body is run down, it is time to start actively working to boost the immune system. By doing so, you are fighting off the infection before it overtakes your body, thus, significantly reducing being prone to colds and flu. You can help give your body the edge this winter by trying the following: Herbal tinctures are natural medicines that help with a variety of ailments. You can stimulate your immune system function to help shorten the physical and mental recovery periods of illnesses. Herbal teas that boost your immune system can help fortify your immune system during cold and flu season. Finding teas that have bioactive ingredients like echinacea, yarrow, lemon balm, elderberry, and marshmallow help you feel better naturally! Drinking any warm liquid calm our nerves, lower our stress levels, and decrease blood pressure as warmth itself is associated with comfort. As warm beverages also beg to be sipped as opposed to chugged quickly, it often means the person consuming the warm drink will be sitting down, calm, possibly reading, or just enjoying the quiet. This also helps boost the body’s natural defense. Sleep – Getting enough quality sleep helps the body keep functioning at its best. I know when I don’t get enough sleep, I feel worse than if I had a cold! If you have trouble sleeping, try to look into ways to calm down before bed, such as drinking the aforementioned tea or exhausting yourself with exercise. Try to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine in the few hours before you go to bed. These vices all play a role in our sleeping habits, and not in a positive way. Caffeine and coffee can be amazing for the body, however, it definitely should be avoided before bed, unless you drink decaf. Probiotics – These teeny microorganisms help keep your gut running the way it should. Try eating more fermented foods. Fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and kombucha are widely available these days. They give your body a healthy dose of probiotics, which are live microorganisms that are important to good digestion and overall health. Elixirs – Taking a daily teaspoon of an elixir can increase the immune system such as apple cider vinegar tonics, elderberry syrup, and honey, lemon, ginger syrup.  Related: Prevent Colds and Flu Naturally with These 10 Immune Boosting Tips Prepare Your Body Naturally For Cold & Flu Season in 4 Easy Steps This year, cold and flu season could present all kinds of different issues with preparing your body to fight off illness. But these suggestions could help you naturally fortify your immune system even with everything else that’s going on. GET SOME SUN As we pointed out above, sunlight is still the best way to get your vitamin D. You don’t want to burn your skin, but spend some time in the sun, with skin exposed to get your daily dose of vitamin D while you still can.  Once it gets cold and starts to snow this will be more difficult. Vitamin D is often seen as the “secret” to fighting off influenza viruses. I love being in my garden, so bein in the sun (with a straw sunhat) is easy for me. If you have trouble, consider grabbing a book and a cup of tea, and sit in the sun reading for only 15 minutes. It doesn’t take much, but you will be able to notice your health improve over time if you regularly get enough vitamin D. If you choose to use a vitamin D supplement, the best dose to use is unknown (as all of us are different with different body compositions), but the Vitamin D Council recommends that adults take 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day, depending on body weight. Children should take at least 100 IU/kg/day. The sun is still the best way for humans to get vitamin D! STAY HYDRATED Make sure you are consuming enough water. If you like herbal teas, these are also excellent ways to stay hydrated, and if it’s still warm, taste great iced! Proper hydration helps you prepare your body for cold and flu season and also helps keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. Staying hydrated is especially important because when you sleep at night, your body naturally loses water through respiration and transpiration. Don’t play catch up once you start to feel sick. Instead, make sure you start drinking enough water now. GET MOVING Regular exercise strengthens the immune system. While you may have an activity plan in place during the spring and summer, now is the time to start coming up with a plan for the fall and winter. The colder it gets, the tougher it can be to get outside for a workout. But you can exercise indoors. Use YouTube and find a cardio yoga workout you enjoy, or grab some weights (canned od will work too) and strengthen your muscles. Stretching is also a good way to prep your muscles for exercise, so don’t forget to do it! GET ENOUGH SLEEP Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. With all of the economic, social, and health stress on us lately, it’s pretty easy to see why. But you still need to make sure you are sleeping well. Sleep recharges the body and gives the immune system a boost if we do happen to get sick. If you do catch a cold or the flu this winter, rest, hydrate, and relax. Related: 6 More Reasons To Get Better Sleep Quality These are a few natural ways we can start ettin our bodies ready for cold and flu season right now! It is a different kind of year, as 2020 has already presented challenges beyond what most could have imagined. But there’s no time like now to make sure you are doing the right thing for your body and immune system to make sure you’re going to stay as healthy as possible as the temperatures dip. This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on September 16th, 2020

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Keeping Kids Fit During Homeschooling

Keeping kids fit and moving while homeschooling can be tough, especially as winter descends upon us.  It won’t be long before we’ve got snow on the ground and the kids will be bored with their schoolwork. But kids need exercise just as much, if not more so than adults do. Keeping their bodies in good shape will help keep their immune system strong, help them sleep better, and prevent boredom. Kids like to have a schedule and some semblance of order.  A chaotic homeschool schedule will only be distracting and counterproductive.  So schedule a time for “PE, physical education” at home.  Break it into two segments if you’d like.  Just make sure it’s at the same time every day and the kids know when they are going to get a chance to move a little. If you know another family that homeschools, connect with them, and meet at a park or go on a hike together. This will also allow the kids to socialize with each other and give the parents a small break from teaching. If you need help figuring out what kind of activities they can do, consider what you have already done to keep your kids active during the summer. This could be helpful for the kids at home. If you need some ideas for winter, please read the following article: 10 Fun Winter Activities To Help Keep Kids Healthy & Happy If you want to go to a school track or park, make sure you are not interfering with public school events. Also, make sure that you have the kids do a warm-up followed by stretches. Try calisthenics, such as push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.  Have them do more each day to improve their strength. Do your favorite outdoor activity. This could be hiking in your favorite spot, swimming, going to the lake, playing your favorite sport. If you stay indoors, such as when temperatures dip into the negatives, do your favorite workouts, watch a yoga video on YouTube and follow along, or find a different fun workout to do. In addition to keeping the kids moving, you should also make sure they build other basic fundamental healthy habits. A few tips from an athlete: Have a balanced diet – give your kids a lot of vegetables.  Let them help choose what you plant in the garden. They are often very willing to try what they have helped grow. Drink lots of water – get them their own water bottles and make it their responsibility to drink from them and keep them full. Avoid sugary foods – sugar is one of the most destructive substances to the human body, and is not required in the human diet. You’ve heard of essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. It isn’t just sugar you should be concerned with either.  Keep your eye on the glycemic index of foods. This is a gauge of how high your blood sugar will spike after eating a particular food, which could impact your child’s cognitive function.  Some fruits (such as those packaged in high fructose corn syrup) may need to be avoided in your child is having problems paying attention. Get on a sleep schedule -make sure the kids go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time to keep their bodies on the same schedule. Commit to being fit – Set up a schedule and stick to it! With so many parents making the decision to homeschool for the first time this year any tips can help! If you are a seasoned homeschooler, share some of your tips with our readers! This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on September 1st, 2020

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6 Fall Activities To Do With the Family

We’re all looking for some activities to do with the family to welcome in the fall. With so many places still closed and others changing rules and schedules to work around the coronavirus restrictions, making plans to spend some time with family can be tough. If you want to spend quality time with your family, you can start by having a “family meeting” to discuss things you can do together.  Kids love doing this because it makes them feel involved in the decision instead of being forced to go along. Related: The Scientific Reason Behind Why We LOVE Autumn! 6 Fall Activities To Do With the Family 1.DIY Crafts – Fall is our favorite time of the year, and we usually start by going online and picking out Halloween costumes and a few new Halloween decorations we can make! If you don’t participate in Halloween, you can always find some fun crafts and make some autumn-themed wreaths or decorations. While doing this, we like to enjoy some homemade apple cider or a caramel apple. Make these to enjoy while you do your fun crafts. 2.Outdoor Movie Marathon – We wrote about this in another article but its such a fantastic idea! It’s fairly easy and won’t break the bank! You really only need a white sheet and a projector. While you can spend $1,000 easily on a projector, you don’t have to. Amazon offers quite a few decent quality projectors for under $100. And if you use it more often, you’ll be getting your money’s worth out of it! 3. Rent a cabin – If you have little cabins close, rent one for the weekend and enjoy a few days in the great outdoors. If you have a camper on an RV, pack up and spend some time camping and enjoying nature.  This time of year when the leaves begin to change is incredible! Hike around, pick up some pinecones, and enjoy the cool air of autumn. 4. Start your Fall Garden – Get your garden ready to enjoy some delicious fall veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.  I also like to plant my garlic this time of the year and have the kids participate in the planting too! Remember, kids will eat better if they participate in growing their own food.  5. Start Making Homemade Christmas Gifts – it’s a great time to keep our budgets in mind.  2020 has been tough on most of our wallets, and we can save money and put love into homemade gifts.  Kids love to be involved in these types of crafts too! Here are a few ideas. 6. Can Your Vegetables – If you can your garden vegetables, now is a great time to get that done. Again, kids like to help and this is a good skill for them to learn. Work with them and teach them while keeping them safe. Please watch them around the heat and around knives. Allow them, according to their age and maturity, to participate in the canning process. The Autumn Harvest: How To Store and Cook With Winter Squash (plus recipes) Hopefully, these six ideas will be a springboard for new ideas and new ways you can spend time together this fall! We have all had to deal with thins this year that has changed the way we view our world, But, by spending time with family, we can at least inject some happiness and calm into an otherwise crazy world. This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on September 9th, 2020

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