Estimated time to read: 4 minutes
Christmas is a time for giving and it’s the most wonderful time of year – if you don’t come down with man flu. If you do – then your world is likely to spiral into a tumultuous mix of hot drinks, pain killers and daytime TV. There’s no need to go into further detail, as we all know the misery that the dreaded cold can inflict upon an unsuspecting man, so be sensible and take note of our top tips to avoid it this Christmas…
Some people need more sleep than others, there is no set rule for how much sleep we need. However, one study did conclude that people who sleep for less than seven hours per night, are up to three times more likely to contract the cold virus compared to people who sleep for eight or more hours.
If you struggle to get enough sleep you can try a number of things, including visiting the seaside! One study found that people sleep nearly an hour longer after a seaside walk and the University of Exeter found that general health was also better in people who lived near the coast. One, of a number of great reasons to visit the coast this winter.
The lymphatic system plays an important role in immunity – including the defense against man flu. In order to keep this system working efficiently, movement is vital. This is only part of the story however, with recent studies concluding that the more time people spend sat down each day, the more likely they are to develop diabetes, heart disease and other conditions (man flu was not specifically covered for some reason). This in turn has led to the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”.
To keep your lymphatic system in top man-flu-fighting condition, try and do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether it be walking, swimming, biking or yoga – getting the body moving is the key element. “Rebounding” is said to be the most time-efficient way to give the lymphatic system a boost. This involves bounding on a mini-trampoline for around 20 minutes per day. Rebounding is also said to be great for digestion, increasing bone mass, improving circulation and heightening manliness.
“Food can be medicine, or it can be poison”, said someone really clever. And they were right, each time you consume food or drink, it either helps or hinders the eternal fight against man-lergy. Some great foods to include in your diet this winter to boost immunity include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, miso and ‘live’ yogurts. These foods are all fantastic sources of probitoics – a form of bacteria that have been proven to boost immunity.
Specifically, a probiotics strain called “Lactobacillus reuteri” has been shown to increase white blood cell count and as a bonus, it also reduces unhealthy levels of LDL cholesterol. Unfortunately, beer doesn’t tend to contain large amounts of probiotics. It’s possible that some home-brew ales do, although the live culture will mainly be yeast – which doesn’t tend to help with man-flu-immunity that much…
Garlic contains an enzyme known as “allicin”. This is the main active component of garlic and gives it much of its superfood properties that help it to lower cholesterol and fight infections. To get the most allicin from garlic, you must chop or crush it around ten minutes before consuming it. The chopping activates allicin, but it doesn’t hang around for too long, so try and eat it all within twenty minutes. Eat it raw for extra man-points.
Wim who? Wim Hof AKA The IceMan is a superhuman Dutchman, who has set numerous world records for swimming under ice and enduring extreme cold. Whilst we certainly don’t recommend some of the stunts that he partakes in, his breathing and meditation techniques have been scientifically proven to enable people to fight infections.
Wim has created a programme that you can follow for a number of weeks, although it doesn’t state that it will specifically prevent all strains of man flu, it is still very interesting! The programme focusses on deep breathing techniques and gradual cold exposure. Brrrr! Not for me thanks Wim, maybe in the New Year.
I do hope this run down of immune boosting tips serves you well over Christmas. Remember to enjoy yourself and if you do catch the dreaded man flu, keep in mind that complaining as much as possible is the only proven way to endure the pain.
Stay Healthy Folks!
*Disclaimer – for entertainment purposes only. Man flu is a serious condition that requires advice from a doctor
Photo Credits: Enjoy the Moment
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