Regard yourself like a fortress, a strong well bordered estate and you’ll be strong and healthy this winter. Borders help us to define limits and keep ourselves on track. Your own body’s defense system for example, functions by way of differentiating what is self and non self to determine if an immune response should be mounted. Conversely when we know the limits of say our own property line, we know where and what needs to be tended so we aren’t shoveling / raking into the next city. Knowing our borders doesn’t mean we necessarily have to stay within them, but it helps us maintain a certain connection and understanding of who we are.
Here are 5 simple ways to fortify yourself this winter
1) Breathing / meditation – try this daily, up to 3 times per day. Simply close your eyes and rest your hands on your lap. Breathe in for 5 seconds and exhale gently for 5 sec. Repeat for 3-5 minutes (if you find you are falling asleep shorten the duration). This will help to put the mind and body into a calmer more “parasympathetic” response full of alpha brain waves. Essentially, rendering you more focused and able to deal with stressors and the day’s demands. This focus and calmness will help you to navigate your day with more ease instead of putting out fires in a state of choas which might lead you astray from the intentions and goals you have for yourself.
2) Probiotics – having the right bacteria working for you literally helps to arm the borders of your body, the mucosa that layers the gastro – intestinal tract and orifices of the body. What does this do? It decreases inflammation, reduces allergies and helps to fight off pathogenic bacteria. An excellent choice for fortification.
3) Teas – the warming, soothing & medicinal properties of teas make these a must have especially in the winter time. Warm up, relax or stay focused while you hydrate with herbal teas. Enjoy a nice blend of licorice, chamomile and peppermint tea (Naturmends Special Blend) to help soothe the adrenals, soothe sore throats and feel invigorated. Try mixing your own loose leaf to find a blend that is right for you. Keeping yourself hydrated and warm is a must for wintertime especially if working inside where the forced air can make things dry.
4) Exercise – Make yourself strong. Build muscle with resistance training. Use body weight, bands, machines or good old dumbbells / kettle balls. Increasing lean muscle helps to support the body, increase metabolism and overall feel good. Aim for 3 times a week or a daily 5-10 minute routine.
5) Journaling – Knowing what your goals are (short and long term) helps to see past and push through obstacles that get in your way. Journalling is a great method that helps the brain to organize information and move towards your intended goal. If you don’t already journal try a weekly entry or quarterly entry that outlines your goals and how you are planning to achieve them.
Be strong this winter, know your body, listen to it and stay on track to achieve all of your goals.
Dr. Sarah Kent is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor specializing in your health. She blends traditional knowledge with current scientiﬁc understanding to generate wellness within her patients. She has received specialized training in naturopathic sports medicine, applying the principles and tools of naturopathic care in treating athletes. With these skills she’s helped patients improve their sport performance, rehabilitate & prevent injury.
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Bowe Whitney, Logan C. Acne vulgaris, probioticss and the gut – brain – skin axis – back to the future? Gut Pathogens 2011, 3:1
International Association of Sports nutrition. Essentials of Sport Nutrition. Human Press. NJ. 2008.