Helping Clients Through Cold and Flu Season
It seems like as soon as the weather turns colder, the sneezes and coughs start. Cold and flu season can start as early as October and run well into May in some parts of the US. And with the second wave of COVID infections rising even now it’s even more important to protect overall respiratory health to ward off infections.
You can support your clients through the cold and flu season by offering them nutrition programs and lifestyle changes that can support their immune and respiratory systems.
Assign antioxidant-rich nutrition plans
Good nutrition can reduce or resolve underlying symptoms for many different conditions. While all of the plans in MBODY360 provide balanced nutrition, some of them are better for clients who want to avoid seasonal viruses.
Plans that are high in antioxidant-rich plant foods — and that cut out inflammatory foods such as sugar, processed meat, and refined carbohydrates — can help fight systemic inflammation and support the immune function.
- Low Sugar — this low-glycemic plan helps clients reduce their sugar intake and inflammation. It is also appropriate for clients who are pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes.
- Low Sugar Vegetarian — this version of the low-glycemic plan has dairy and egg substitutes, so it is appropriate for vegans or lacto-ovo vegetarians.
- Mediterranean Plan — the 14- and 28-day plans both contain plenty of fruit and vegetables, rich in antioxidants to help clean up free radicals. Emphasis on nuts, healthy oils and lean proteins like fish and poultry support healthy energy balance.
You can offer any or all of these plans for your individual coaching clients, or you can launch them as a group program through the app.
Encourage more time for sleep
Good sleep is one of the most underrated healing tools. It’s free, available to everyone and necessary for brain health, reducing stress, supporting healthy metabolism and immunity.
Many Americans are chronically sleep deprived, which impacts the immune response. Caffeine, stress, and eating or drinking too close to bedtime are just some of the culprits that disturb sleep and make it harder for clients to get the rest that they need to stay healthy.
You can remind your clients that they can work on their sleep hygiene by using their app. MBODY360 will sync with apps or tracking devices, or they can manually track their sleep hours in the app.
You can also coach clients around sleep, habits and obstacles to good sleep. Have your clients use the journal to talk about their sleep patterns.
Recommend healing foods, herbs and nutrients
In addition to the plans, you can also recommend that your clients incorporate these additional foods and nutrients into their meals:
- Vitamin D — this may be the most important nutrient for overall immune health. It’s the only nutrient your body makes when exposed to sunlight. You can also get it from eating salmon, sardines, egg yolks and through supplementation.
- Garlic — this herb is most commonly used medicinally to support heart health. But it also has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that may help shorten the life of a cold.
- Ginger — this mighty root has antibacterial properties that can ward off germs, anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe aches and pains, and antioxidants that offer overall protection from various diseases.
- Elderberry — this medicinal plant has traditionally been used to treat infections. Elderberry extracts have been shown to reduce the severity of influenza.
- Zinc — this nutrient has been shown to hasten the life of a cold. You can also eat more zinc-rich foods like red meat, chicken, beans, nuts and seafood, or take supplements.
Get movement and fresh air
When you spend time indoors, you’re breathing in recycled air. Germs, dirt, dander and bacteria get recycled over and over again through air vents. The more time you spend inside, the more you breathe them in.
You can remind clients that using a humidifier to combat dryness can help support their respiratory health. Cleaning the vents, dusting surfaces, and using an air purifier can also make indoor air cleaner.
Opening windows brings new air inside. Spending time outside lets you breathe in new, fresh air. You can recommend to your clients walking or exercising outside to get more fresh air and movement to support their immune and respiratory systems.
Why not lead COVID-safe outdoor walks for clients? You could offer a group class, or community or neighborhood talk while walking outside.
Getting out in nature, or green bathing, can also supports the autoimmune system. Various terpenes — the organic compounds produced by various plants and trees — have been found to contain anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, and neuroprotective properties.
Encourage good hygiene practices
Of course, we all know from the COVID pandemic that prevention from catching viruses dramatically improves with hand washing, maintaining distance from people not in your household, and wearing masks.
When your clients actively support their health with good nutrition, more rest, fresh air and movement, they can sail through cold and flu season with barely a sniffle.