Advice for the Ill = Advice for the Well
All of the things we tell sick people so that they recover more quickly are exactly the things that we should be doing every day. Following that advice will not only ward off disease, but also lead to greater energy and vitality, and best of all, weight loss. How we came to ignore these positive factors in our daily lives, I don't know.
In our society, we have a tendency to put off what is most healthy because we think it is inconvenient. When we get sick and can't perform our "more important" jobs, then we make the decision to do what is best for the body. If we took these simple pieces of advice in our regular routines, we would be sick fewer days. So for those who think their work is more important than their health... if you take care of your health first, you'll be able to work longer and take fewer sick days, so you'll accomplish more work!
"Drink plenty of fluids" is the thing everybody says whenever someone says they have a cold. Drinking water and natural fruit juices is so easy, yet most people don't do it. There are a myriad of benefits to drinking water all day, especially if you're not sick, which you can find in my article on water on my website. Drink a lot of water all day. The improvements to your digestion, energy balance, joint health, skin health and the function of virtually every organ will astonish you. You will start losing weight right away when you drink at least your quota of 8 glasses of water per day. And there is no danger of drinking too much water, so you don't need to keep track or count glasses, just keep drinking it.
Natural fruit juices are also great for you. They contain sugars to give you energy, but won't dehydrate you like caffeine will. They also contain all of the other vitamins and nutrients from the fruits themselves. In the case of citrus fruits, like oranges, vitamin C comes in high concentrations. We'll get to the vitamins in the next section. Other juices are good for different reasons, but remember that there is no such thing as a "bad" natural fruit juice. Many natural juices are also fortified with calcium, which is another excellent nutrient that will not only strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis when you grow older, but it is also related to fat loss.
No matter how good the label looks, do not drink artificial fruit-flavoured juice, because those only contain sugar, water and flavouring.
Vitamins and Herbs
Many people suggest high doses of vitamin C to cure the common cold. It is such a good nutrient, it should be taken daily, whether you're sick or not. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is known to boost the immune system, which is why it is recommended for treatment of the common cold. But a good immune system is always beneficial; it is better to prevent getting a cold by having a strong immune system than to treat it once you're sick. Vitamin C is also a most powerful antioxident, which means that it prevents all sorts of cellular decay and counteracts cancer-causing carcinogens. Finally, vitamin C boosts the production of adrenaline, which will boost your feeling of wakefulness, energy and speed your metabolism, supporting weight loss.
Vitamin C is not the only supplement that sick people are told to take. My mother is particularly fond of echinacea. This is an herb that also boosts the immune system. It has proven effective in treating the common cold, but unlike vitamin C, it does not show a significant effect on healthy people.
Taking a multivitamin everyday that contains high doses of vitamin C, as well as a full complement of other vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients is a positive step for anyone. It is virtually impossible to get every nutrient that you should every day unless you take a multivitamin. For those attempting to lose body fat by reducing their food intake, it becomes essential. Not only will you replace the nutrients you're not getting from your restricted diet, you're also packing in those nutrients that can speed up your weight loss.
Chicken Noodle Soup and Other Good Food
When you're sick, you may have a friend who offers to take care of you and make you some chicken noodle soup. There are a lot of theories about why chicken soup may be good for you when you have a cold. Some say that it's just the steam and hot liquid that opens up the airways; others claim that it inhibits neutrophils, white blood cells responsible for inflammation. My theory is simpler: chicken noodle and chicken vegetable soups are just good food, and should be consumed regularly. In a tasty meal, you've got protein from the chicken, carbs from the noodles and/or vegetables, spices and seasoning that have herbal benefits, and the chicken fat as well. A good rule of thumb is to eat simple, good food that has these properties.
The final and most important ingredient to beating a cold is rest. Of everything discussed in this article, it is also the element that most modern men disregard. Even when sick, we tend to get up and do some work, rather than concentrating on getting well. Sleep is the time your body and mind recuperate from the day's activities. Without sufficient sleep, your body cannot heal properly, and your mind cannot function properly. There have been some studies that show that sleep deprivation can lead to overeating and obesity, due to the elevation of certain hormones.
Sleep recommendations have varied tremendously in all the studies done. Most people today believe that 8 hours is the optimum duration of sleep. However, some adults can't bring themselves to sleep longer than 6 hours, and many will sleep for 10 if not awoken by an alarm. The need for sleep steadily declines throughout your life. A baby can sleep as much as 18 hours a day, but it will come at odd times until their rhythms match their parents. So, it seems like they never sleep because they're always crying in the middle of the night, but they're sleeping a lot of the rest of the time. In contrast, the elderly awake early and frequently cannot fall asleep until very late. Some may nap frequently, but in all, they are awake far longer than most adults.
The amount of sleep any person needs seems to be quite individualistic. To find your perfect sleep duration, try waking up at the same time every day for work, but go to bed one half-hour earlier each night. You may not feel comfortable right away, but you'll probably fall asleep within 10 minutes. Eventually, you will find a time that is ideal in that you will fall asleep easily and wake up feeling really energetic. On a weekend, you can test your theory by going to bed when you feel tired, and not set an alarm to wake you. When you wake up, write a note of the time you first woke up (in case you want to sleep in further). Then it is a simple matter to figure out how long your body wants to sleep.
Sleep is not the only component of rest. People will actually tell you to "take it easy" to help you recover. This is also a good idea for everyday life, not only when you're ill. Learn to take time every day to relax. There have been many books and studies on the benefits of meditation. None that I know of relate meditation to weight loss, but it is related to a reduction of stress. Lower stress levels will reduce your risk of heart disease, and if you're an "emotional eater", then reducing your stress through meditation can be a big step towards weight loss.
Feeling Under the Weather?
We're not all sick, but are all "under the weather" because the clouds are above us. So, every day behave as if you're under the weather: drink plenty of fluids, especially water and natural fruit juices; take a multivitamin and the proven herbal health boosters; eat natural food in good proportions; and get adequate sleep, including meditation or some form of relaxation.
David McCormick is the founder of Weightless Products. The site, Mr. Weightless, is devoted to free articles on natural weight loss, where there are no banners, no pop-ups and you are never asked for your email address.
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