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Tips For Staying Healthy

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Here a few pointers to use year round to help avoid getting colds and the flu.

Less stress is best
The best thing you can do to stay healthy is to keep your body happy by reducing stress. When you're operating in a weakened state, it's a lot easier for those little bugs to invade. So first and foremost, avoid stress. Take time to cool off. While there's no escaping many of life's more unnerving situations, some can be avoided. Do so.

If you're not feeling right, stay home. Not only do you improve your chances of recovery if you take it easy, but you're not exposing others to whatever illness you're battling.

Next, sleep. The more tired your body is, the harder time it has operating. Make sure to get eight hours a night and, if by some divine grace you're one of the chosen few with napping opportunities, take them.

Make sure to eat right. Everyone has some dietary trick they insist beats the onset of illness. It might be chamomile tea, echinacea, or mega-doses of vitamin C. More important than any of these, however, is a balanced, healthy diet. When you're not giving the body the nutrients it needs, it'll operate in a weakened state. So eat right and get a multi-vitamin in there.

This also holds true for undereating. Especially during cold and flu season, a huge calorie deficit, with the stress that lack of nutrients and ketosis will cause, isn't that great of an idea. A slight deficit is fine, but try not to go too much lower than 500 calories below what you normally eat.

Finally, stay hydrated. Consuming and disposing of fluids is your body's way of flushing out toxins. Every time you run to the little boys' or girls' room, that's another chance to send potentially harmful baddies out of your system.

Sweat out the threat
The only kind of stress that might actually help you fight off illness is regular exercise. Working out gets your blood pumping and your pores sweating. When this happens, your whole body's working a lot more efficiently, including your immune system.

Of course, if you do get sick, then it's time to take it easy. Your body needs all available resources to battle the illness.

And for those of you who think you're just too busy to exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and stop stressing, remember that once that flu nails you, you'll be wasting a lot more time in bed than you would have doing a daily 60 minutes of aerobic activity.

Be a clean machine
Walking around with a face mask on might be getting a little carried away, but there are certainly ways to keep your personal space sanitary.

First off, wash your hands. Just think of all the things and people you touch in a day. (It's pretty gross when you really start to meditate on it, so don't think about it too much.) When washing, use hot, soapy water and count to 10. Then, dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel.

You don't really need to wash with antibacterial soap. In fact, some experts feel that, like antibiotics, antibacterial products are actually making us more susceptible to illness. Just a good, natural soap will do.

Next, try to avoid sharing cups and utensils. Sure, that other person seems healthy enough now, but you have no idea if they're a day away from becoming bedridden.

Finally, try to avoid enclosed spaces, especially ones where there are lots of other people. This might be tough in an office situation, but what you certainly can do is open windows and/or go for a walk outside at lunch. Getting into the sun will also give you a healthy dose of vitamin D, which certainly won't hurt!

It's surprisingly easy to fight off illness. Keep stress down, exercise, and keep clean—that's all it takes. Too bad it's not as easy dealing with brother Burt . . .

The goal of Team Beachbody is to provide you with solutions to reach your health and fitness goals. Click here to learn more about Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter.

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