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IN THIS ISSUE December 15th 2010
Feel Better... Live Better
Winter Health Tips
by Woody McMahon
Stress Levels Are High
If you want to keep your health at optimum levels this winter, it's going
to require extra effort and vigilance. People are getting stressed out due
to higher prices for food, job instability, long lines and continued
economic uncertainty. The extra stress negatively affects your immune
system and its ability to fight infections. The way to maintain good health
this winter is to stay active and healthy while paying attention to a few
Stress and Your Immune System
Stress in the form of anger, fear, depression and uncertainty strongly
influences how well your immune system works in three major ways. High
levels of stress severely deplete your immune system cells that are
responsible for maintaining good health. With fewer cells available, your
body has a more difficult time adequately fending off the flu, bacterial
and other viral infections.
Constant stress also changes your hormone balance promoting higher levels
of cortisol (stress hormone) and reducing levels of serotonin (feel good
hormone). As serotonin levels move lower, you tend to eat more simple
carbohydrates because of their serotonin stimulating effect. The shift to
more cortisol and less serotonin promotes overeating and weight gain.
Finally, stress increases inflammation in your body speeding the
development of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and many
How to Keep Yourself Healthy this Winter
Staying healthy through these stressful times is easier than you think.
Here are three suggestions to get you started.
#1 Take Time to Rest and Relax
Keeping a positive attitude even in the worst of times gives you hope that
there will be a better day. Skeptical and negative thinking erodes your
physical health by further increasing cortisol production. Read a book with
a positive message. Watch a movie that will make you laugh. Listen to music
that makes you relax and feel good. If you have the cash flow, get a
relaxation message, facial or other pampering activity. For you water
lovers, drive to the lake or beach and sit and watch the water. This is a
very relaxing activity especially if coupled with a nap.
#2 Burn Stress with Fun Activity
Fun activity is a great stress buster. Mentally you know you're doing
something good for yourself. Physically your body loves the stimulation
that comes from harder breathing, increased heart pumping and a little
sweat. Fun activity also stimulates serotonin production and distracts your
mind from negative thoughts. What exercise is best? All exercise is good.
It really depends on what you like. In a perfect world you would
participate in weight training for two hours a week and walking, running
and sports or active games you enjoy for another hour. Total of about 3
hours a week is a good activity goal.
#3 Keep Your Food Intake Balanced
Eating balanced meals is a good way to strengthen your immune system.
Getting enough proteins, carbohydrates and fats at every meal is a very
healthy way to eat. Eating adequate amounts of daily fruits and vegetables
provides vitamins, minerals and most importantly fiber. Fiber helps your
digestive system work more efficiently. Adequate protein is essential for
strong bones and cellular repair. Complex carbohydrates found in whole
grains provide essential fuel for the active body. On the other hand, over
eating is a physical stressor. It takes a lot of work for your body to
digest all that extra food. Eating less food reduces the burden on your
digestive system improving your health and your weight.
Practice these three essential health suggestions and you'll stay illness
free all winter long.
Would you like to improve your health but don't know where to start?
How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your bones?
Do you have weight problems but are tired of dieting? We provide an easy toWoody@SequoiaHealth.com.
follow program without the gimmicks or fads. You'll also get the education,
motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping
you feel and look your best. Please call Woody McMahon for a no cost
consultation, at 703-464-5171 or email to