‘Tis the (Sugar) Season

It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Unfortunately, this can also be the time of year that we may be more likely to feel less than our best.

A quick search can yield tons of evidence connecting sugar and reduced immune response. It stands to reason that between Daylight Saving Time (reduced exposure to sunlight), increased stress, reduced physical activity and increased sugar intake (Halloween candy, Thanksgiving treats, Christmas cookies & candy) this season is the perfect time of year to do what you can to bolster your immune system!

For me, that means both cardio and strength-based training (read this); stress management (meditation and mindfulness), restorative sleep, but most importantly – a healthy diet and NO PROCESSED SUGAR ! **note – I do enjoy whole fruits daily**

I’m also adding Truvani’s ‘Under The Weather’, “a properly dosed immune-supporting botanical blend with research-backed ingredients… all in tablet form“.

To enjoy the occasional traditional sweet treat, consider making the switch to monk fruit instead of sugar. Monk fruit is a sugar free, 0-calorie, natural alternative that you can easily swap when baking.

**I am not a doctor and nothing I post should be construed as medical advice. Always seek the counsel of a trained physician before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I am just sharing what I do – that doesn’t mean it will work for you”

Workout smarter not harder

“Chronically elevated cortisol levels can cause weight gain in some people, especially around the abdomen area. … It may sound surprising but training too hard can contribute to high cortisol and actually sabotage your health or weight loss goals.It may be why you are not seeing results from your workouts.” source

I like to keep cardio workouts to 30-45 minutes (shorter bursts for HIIT and Tabata; longer for low intensity steady state “LISS”) and strength/resistance (weight) training to 45 minutes in order to reduce negative impacts of cortisol.

Exercise training improves memory

Tons of evidence-based research is available online touting the benefits of working out…and while reducing weight/body fat and increasing energy may come to mind at first, cognitive benefits have just as much positive impact on quality of life and healthy aging.

In this Harvard Health article, read how the benefits of exercise – from reduced insulin resistance and inflammation to improved mood and sleep have a positive impact on cognition as well. Other “findings indicate that aerobic exercise training is effective at reversing hippocampal volume loss in late adulthood, which is accompanied by improved memory function.”