How to Boost Your Immunity System

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that we are currently experiencing freezing temperatures lately in Virginia.. or may be in all the 50 states of U.S.! This makes me shiver..errr..!!

We can’t fight nature.. can we? So what else can we do – Protect Ourselves from the extremities That’s all we can do. These days I hear a lot of people suffering from common cold, cough and sinus attacks etc! We must learn to keep our immune system strong so that we don’t fall sick so easily. Today’s post will talk about how can we boost our immunity system. It actually starts with adopting good eating habits and the way we live our lives. Poor diet and poor sleep habits are known to be the two biggest factors behind the depletion of our immunity system. Some doctors say stress is another factor, but I believe stress further leads to poor diet and sleeping habits which again brings us back to the initial first two reasons.

When we talk about poor eating habits – we are basically talking about not taking all the nutrients in sufficient manner. And among all the nutrients, protein tops the chart! This goes specially to my vegetarian friends who unknowingly tend to neglect protein in their diets. Did you know that adults should eat at least 50 grams of protein on a daily basis? And it’s not necessary that this protein should come only from meat. You can equally enjoy your lentils, beans, eggs, walnuts, and almonds etc.

We must also deliberately eat antioxidant rich foods. They also help us in keeping our immune system in good shape!

Then comes cleanliness. In winters, we tend to stay away from cold water.. and while doing this we actually don’t clean germs/bacteria etc. from our hands/face etc. which may further result in a common cold attack! So keep yourself clean. Wash your hands at least thrice daily (with an anti-bacterial soap).

Doctors also recommend to keep our nasal passages clear and healthy since illness starts in the nose and sinuses. Therefore, we should take a steam therapy a few times a week. It’s quite easy! Boil a pot of water, let it steam and then cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam for several minutes to clean out your nasal passage and drain your sinuses. This can help prevent sinusitis and bronchitis.

God forbid, if you still get sick, you will get better faster if you keep eating healthy! We tend to stop eating or eat less when we get ill because we lose our appetite. But that actually makes the situation worse. When we don’t eat, we are actually giving an upper hand to viruses. So keep eating all the healthy home made good food and you shall feel better. Don’t forget to balance your food with all the nutrients.

Below are a few ‘Superfoods‘ that help in strengthening our immune system –

Broccoli – Rich in antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin A

Citrus Fruits – Winters are loaded with oranges, grapefruit and tangerines. Load up!

Walnuts and Almonds – You just need a handful of these daily. They are rich in protein and vitamin A

Berries – Blueberries and Strawberries are my personal favorites

Green tea and Coffee – They both consist of polyphenols. This is an antioxidant which may help in fighting illness. But don’t go overboard.. specially with coffee.

Mushrooms – Available all round the year! Add them to salads, make a curry of just saute’ em.

Spinach – Raw or cooked, it’s one of best sources of folic acid (I love Indian spinach breads aka palak-parantha)

Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin and Carrots – The orange foods will do more good to you than you know!

And then last but not the least – Exercise. Exercising makes your heart strong. It makes YOU strong both physucally and mentally. You won’t feel the need of always laying in the bed or doubling up the blankets!

Go for a run outside. Breathe in that cold air. Your lungs NEED it. That will make you STRONG. Your body needs to get used to the cold. Don’t fear form the cold. Embrace it.

So are you ready to fight winters with me?

5 Workout Rules

I am back with another Fitness post. This is (and will be) my favorite subject (like it or not)! Here are 5 Workout Rules which I made for myself. These are tried and tested. I mean ‘I’ tried and tested them! So yes, you can take my word for it.

Make a goal for yourself
Don’t just blindly keep running on that treadmill. Make a goal for yourself. And goals do not always mean how much weight you plan to lose. Goals should be definitive. These are few examples –
By the end of next week, I should be able to run 2 miles in 15 minutes
“By the end of this week, I should be able to do 40 push-ups in 3 minutes
By the end of next month, I should be able to lift 50 pounds and do 3 sets” etc. etc.

You see what I mean.. These are quantitative goals. Making goals like – “I want to be fit in 3 months” or “I want to lose weight before my wedding” is useless. It’s not helpful in any way. How do you measure fitness? So make goals for yourself which are achievable yet challenging! Only then, you will love your workout sessions. Compete with yourself!

Try something new every now and then
I do this ALL-THE-TIME. For instance, I have tried Bikram Yoga, Running, Gym sessions, Regular Yoga, Bootcamp, Dancing and what not! These days I am hooked on to cycling. See the pictures below! They are recent. 🙂
I recently bought myself a bike and I love riding it on the bumpy streets of my city. This challenges me and at the same time is so much fun! So keep trying new things. Don’t let yourself get bored of the same exercises over and over for years. Your body needs that change. Surprise your body every now and then!

Bike Bike Bike

Don’t listen to your lazy inner voice
Trust me, I am a human too. And when I say I totally understand those lazy days, I really mean it. To be frank, at least twice in a week, I feel like ‘not’ working out. I feel like watching television non-stop and then eating take-out Chinese food! But then I shut my stupid inner voice. And ask myself – ‘Is this going to help me achieve my this month’s goal?’ Well guess what the answer usually is? NO. Obviously. Then I think, why to do something right now which I am going to regret later (for sure). Then I get my lazy butt up in the air, change in to my workout gear and off I go!

Say No to bulky workout clothes
Don’t, please don’t wear unnecessary big and oversized clothes, no matter what size you are. Wear your size. Be proud of your body. Fitness is not only about size. It changes your whole lifestyle. The way you look at your food, the way you think about yourself! Wear good fitting comfortable workout clothes. This will give you confidence. Invest in good quality workout clothes and shoes. It’s so worth it!

Do more than you ‘think’ you can
This is known that our mind gives in way before than our body does! Even before trying I often hear people say “Oh I can’t do it!” Now common, at least give it a try and then say you failed! My funda is to do at least two reps more just when my mind says “I can’t do it anymore”. You will be surprised to see what your body is really capable of! We are stronger than we think.

The other day our trainer made us run 16 lapses of a big parking lot. Initially I was like “No way I would be able to run that much!” But then guess what, I did complete 16 rounds. And I was impressed by my own self (and the by the end of my workout I was famished, but that is a whole other story)! You will be surprised to see how much stronger you are than you think!

Don’t hesitate in dropping me any questions or suggestions you may have! I would love to answer them all 🙂

Stay fit! Stay active!

This post is linked to the IFB Weekly Roundup

Exercise Does Magic to Your Body

Yes I have been neglecting this pretty little blog for a quite few days now! It’s just that I am way toooo occupied in my professional and personal life these days.. But as they say, better late than never! Right? Right.

Ok, so when you look at these pictures do you see some difference? Something different in me.. maybe? Do you notice I am looking quite slimmer than before!! 😀

Not to brag, but I feel A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Not sure how much weight I have lost (because I really DO NOT believe that your weight describes how ‘fit’ you are), but I certainly feel very light! It’s only my third month with these Bootcamp classes in my city, and I already feel so strong and so energetic all the time! This feeling is the best feeling in the world (better than the post-shopping high!). REALLY 🙂

I promised that I will keep you all updated on my journey, and here I am.. keeping my promise like always.. Do you see the happiness on my face here? That is what you get when you do something with full dedication! When I started working out, I had no goals, no expectations. To say the least, I did not see any results for the first 5 weeks. 5 WEEKS!! Some people lose hope by then. But I kept going. Then slowly and gradually I started seeing the difference in my performance. I don’t get tired so easily, push-ups are no more ‘an extremely painful’ exercise for me! I am so much better at running now. My pants fit me differently.

Now, it is like a routine.. If I skip a work-out session, I make up for it on the weekend! But I religiously work out four times a week. And hard work pays.. It did for me! It will for you too.  And I understand that this is just the beginning! I have a very, very long way to go. So what are you waiting for?? Go! Workout. Run. Play. Swim. Dance! Do whatever you like! Don’t let that gym membership go to waste. YOU paid for it. It’s your hard earned money. You better make very good use of it!

And trust me, your body will thank you in soooo many ways. Just be regular. Show up everyday. Don’t expect to see the results the same day or the same week. It takes time. Have patience.

I could only push you (through my words), it’s YOU who has to do the ‘main’ work! So good luck!

I wore this dress to the farmer’s market this weekend. I love, love, love farmer markets. I may never have said it on the blog before, but I do LOVE them! They take me back to my childhood when my father and I used to go to these farmer markets every Sunday to buy groceries and fruits! 🙂

Click on a picture to view it in a bigger size

Dress: Forever 21 | Bag: Wilsons Leather | Shoes: Payless