Under the weather

HEALTH:

As winter draws nearer and temperatures drop, colds and ‘flu-like symptoms are rife. Whilst it may seem tempting to push on through it, exercising when you feel unwell will only set you back in terms of recovery, causing you even more time away from your fitness programme.

If you want to make real progress, take a few days off and get back to it once you’re feeling 100%.

EXERCISE:

Exercise prompts a temporary rise in immune system cells that attack foreign invaders within the body, meaning that those who are physically active five or more days a week are a third less likely to catch a respiratory infection (such as the common cold).

Although these levels return to normal within a few hours, each session is likely to provide an additional immune boost to fight off infection. So when you’re feeling well, keep your training regular!

NUTRITION:

Maintaining adequate vitamin stores in the body is essential for an effective immune response: well-nourished individuals are far better prepared to both fight and recover from infections.

Be sure to include varied and nutritious foods such as lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes and nuts and seeds in your diet, all of which will provide you with vital nutrients and help boost your protection against germs.

© Sarah West Nutrition

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Healthy digestion

HEALTH:

Digestion is the process by which food is broken down to be utilised by the body. Once the nutrients from your food have been absorbed, they are used to build and nourish cells and provide the energy needed to keep the body going.

 EXERCISE:

While there are countless ways to improve digestion, one of the most important – but often neglected – methods is through regular exercise.

sos cropped(1)Engaging in just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day encourages contraction of the intestinal tract and improves digestive transit.

 NUTRITION:

Chewing is the first stage of digestion. It not only physically breaks down what you eat, but also signals organs to secrete their digestive juices (such as pancreatic enzymes and stomach acids) to prepare for incoming food.

Next time you eat, try putting down your fork between mouthfuls in order to encourage you to really chew your food well. You might be surprised by the difference it makes to your digestion.

© Sarah West Nutrition