Autumn is Setting In

September 15, 2023

At temperatures start to drop and daylight hours get shorter, it’s important for SMEs to keep healthy. Time off for sickness is expensive especially when you’re a sole trader; when you’re not working, you can’t earn.

Here are a few tips to help you keep well generally, but particularly over the colder months.

  1. Sleep: Your body needs a minimum of 6 hours (and ideally 8) in order to recover. This is when “general housekeeping” can take place which is vital. In particular, scientists have shown that the brain needs time to allow cells to get the dustpan and brush out (figuratively speaking) and the less sleep you have may result in the build up of plaques which are associated with conditions such as dementia.
    The following study showed that insufficient sleep and/or sleep apnea were both associated with an increased risk of car accidents:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859531/
    There are several other studies that have been done in the USA to demonstrate this such as
    https://aasm.org/study-suggests-later-school-start-times-reduce-car-crashes-improve-teen-safety/
  2. Eating Healthily: It’s all too easy to start work and find that the day has gone past and you’ve not eaten. After the age of 40, this isn’t such a bad thing as scientists have shown that “Time Restricted Eating” (where you regularly only eat for a block of say 8 to 10 hours meaning if you eat at midday, then don’t eat anything after 20h that day. This differs from the term “Fasting”) is associated with better liver function – this organ has more time to do its own “housekeeping”.
    • Certain supplements can help; these are the ones I find work best for me:
      (a) MSM – I take these for about a week when needed (1,500mg tablet). My cue for this is feeling a bit achy in my fingers and/or not being able to make a fist with sufficient force that I know I couldn’t punch something if needed.
      (b) Vit B12 (1,000µg-make sure it’s the Methylcobalamin version). Out of all the vitamin Bs, this is the one I take; it needed to keep the blood and nerves functioning properly and when levels are low, you may experience tiredness, weakness and generally not yourself.
      (c) Vit D3 (2,500iu) with Vit K. Vit D has many functions in the body, including the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. It has also been shown to boost the immune system; a paper published in 2021 showed that patients with low levels of Vit D suggested poorer outcomes from Covid19:
      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34126960/
      Vit D is commonly referred to as the sunshine vitamin, hence its increased importance during the winter (and if we’ve had rainy summers!)
      (d) Omega 3 Fish Oils (EPA and DHA 1500mg minimum); ideally from eating oily fish such as salmon or mackerel. But if you don’t like fish or don’t eat it regularly, then supplementing is the best option.
  3. Exercise: When it’s cold we are more likely to drive about rather than walk to the shops for example and whilst not everyone can afford gym memberships, there is quite a bit you can do at home. Have a look on utube and find something that you can do for short periods regularly each week. Even when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, you could be doing some warm up and/or balance exercises.

    With (2) and (3) above, if you have any health conditions or are taking any medication, please check with your medical practitioner.

 

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