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Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp, Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on EXERCISING OUTDOORS!

We DUFFNATICS love our gym.  There is no better place to sweat it out when you’re in group fitness classes, working the weights or using our equipment. BUT with all of this gorgeous weather hitting the LowCountry, we’re dedicating this week’s blog to reasons why EXERCISING OUTDOORS is GREAT FOR YOU!

There are countless amazing places to break a sweat all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston, so read on to get inspired to take it OUTSIDE!


LiveStrong explains, “Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air — which increases the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells. Increased oxygen in your body translates to greater energy and clarity of mind.” 

Exercising outside GIVES YOU A DOES OF D

Everyday Health adds to the health benefits of working out in the daylight: “Scientists recommend outdoor exercise as a way to get your vitamin D through sunlight. This is especially important if you are overweight — a recent study found that people who are overweight are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D.”

Exercising outside BRIGHTENS YOUR MOOD

Time Magazine consulted Dr. Pamela Peeke, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and author of Fit to Live:  “Nothing makes you feel more childlike than being outdoors.  You’re modulating stress hormones, increasing endorphins and increasing the secretion of serotonin.”  And as the article explains, the higher your levels of serotonin, the brighter your mood.

Exercising outside SHAKES THINGS UP

Take it from Active, who explains that variety is the spice of life—even in your workouts: “Unpredictability is essential for the human spirit. When you exercise outside, every day the environment is a little bit different. Even if you work out at the same park, chances are the weather and surroundings will never be quite the same as they were the day before.”

Exercising outside can MAKE YOU SMARTER

Women’s Health consulted Jo Barton, Ph.D., the lead author of a 2011 study that analyzed the mental health of 53 people who were involved in indoor or outdoor activities for six weeks:  ”Humans were hunter-gatherers and farmers for some 300,000 generations; have been industrialized for only six to eight, so we are outdoor animals living largely inside. Closeness to nature increases our well-being—it has an immunizing effect by protecting us from future stresses and helping us concentrate and think more clearly.”

Exercising outside BURNS MORE CALORIES

And leave it to Cosmo to get down to brass tacks.  They quote Simon Cowen, Fitness First PT Ambassador who explains: “Resistance from the wind when running or cycling outdoors means you often burn more calories than if you were indoors.  And slopes and uneven ground make your body work harder as it has to respond to the unknown.  So, basically, doing nothing different but taking your workout outside makes it LOADS more effective.”

For ideas on GREAT OUTDOOR EXERCISES check out next week’s blog!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on WHEN TO REPLACE YOUR GYM SHOES!

It seems that just about everyone in Mount Pleasant and Charleston participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run this weekend!  And if you were one of the fitness fanatics who crossed the finish line, you know how much work it takes to be ready for such a run!  But pounding the pavement and even working it at the gym can take a toll on your SHOES. 

So how do you know when it’s time to retire your kicks?



It turns out, wearing workout shoes to the bitter end is a prominent factor in common gym-related injuries and workout fatigue.  According to Road Runner Sports, “Running in worn out shoes is just as bad as running in the wrong shoe…[leading to problems like] sore knees, achy feet early in the morning, shin splints, tight quads, or something else.”


Esquire takes it even farther.  They quote Ben Sweeney, coach at Brick New York: “Having a solid pair of shoes is important because of your foot health.  When your shoes wear down, the molding for your foot becomes flatter and flatter. This can cause stress on the foot and ankle leading to injury, and even change your gait—that’s how your foot comes into contact with the ground—over time.”

Men’s Health agrees: “Depending on how you land, you also might wear down a specific spot faster like the inside of your heel or the ball of your foot. Unbalanced tread can slightly alter your running gait, possibly causing injury over time.”


Reader’s Digest recommends that while the general rule is to replace your workout shoes every 300 to 500 miles, “there are visual clues of wear and tear that you may notice well before that. Place your sneakers on a table top and look at them at eye level, making sure to also flip them upside down and examine the soles. If a portion of the outside soles is smooth, uneven, and worn, you’re ready for a new pair.”


Men’s Journal also reminds us that our feet will tell us when it’s time to change shoes: “As unscientific as it sounds, you should replace your shoes when they stop feeling good. In fact, kinesiology researchers from the University of Calgary proposed in a 2015 review study that a runner’s personal ‘comfort filter’ is the best means of selecting shoes that support the preferred movement path and reduce the likelihood of injury.”  So if you’re shoes feel worn or your feet feel sore or tired after a workout, it’s time to change shoes.


Men’s Health notes to “Take note of ‘bald spots’ on the outsole where rubber has worn off.”  They quote Bruce Wilk, a physical therapist and owner of The Runner’s High specialty shop in Miami, Florida.  “A little scuffing is fine, but if the tread is gone and your outsole is now white, your shoe is coming apart.” 

So in a nutshell, while it’s a pain to constantly replace your workout shoes, you need to consider them like an investment in your overall fitness.  Not doing so can cost you not only comfort, but may sabotage your workouts!

Wondering which shoes are the best for working out?  Check our our post THE BEST SHOES OF 2018!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffys Functional Fitness on WHY LAUGHTER IS GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH!

In the spirit of April Fools Day, we thought we’d give ourselves the giggles!  Nothing takes the edge off of any situation (including when you’re maxing your workout) better than laughing your gluts off!  And it turns out that laughter is actually GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH!

Read on to learn WHY laughter is good for you and WHERE in Mount Pleasant and Charleston you can find the funnies locally!



According to Time Magazine, who sites Dr. Lee Berk (an associate professor at Loma Linda University in California who has spent nearly three decades studying the ways the aftershocks of a good laugh ripple through your brain and body):

“Laughter shuts down the release of stress hormones like cortisol. It also triggers the production of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, which have all kinds of calming, anti-anxiety benefits. Think of laughter as the yin to stress’s yang…Thanks largely to these stress-quashing powers, laughter has been linked to health benefits ranging from lower levels of inflammation to improved blood flow.”


The Mayo Clinic explains that laughter can reverse the damage that negativity can wreak on your health: “Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.”

So what ARE these magical neuropeptides?  Science Daily quotes experts at Weill Cornell Medicine: “The immune system and neuronal system don’t act independently…These guys are dancing like a tango…The lining of the gut is home to many immune system cells, which serve as a defense against parasites and other infections.”  So essentially, the more you laugh, the more power you are giving to these neuropeptides!


Mens Fitness has an awesome article that lists “5 Ways Laughter Can Enhance Your Workout” that we totally recommend you check out!  But our favorite nugget from this piece: Laughter can actually BE a workout!

The article states: “It’s called a belly laugh for a reason. With core strength and agility being so vital to physical fitness, its good to know that laughing exercises the diaphragm while also contracting your abdominal muscles and even your shoulders. The result is not only a mini workout crunch (according to, but also a release of tension throughout the body to keep your muscles loose and limber for the long haul.”

So let’s get laughing!  Click on the links below to find some of our favorite Workout Humor as well as local laughing spots in Mount Pleasant and Charleston!



Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Functional Fitness on FITNESS EVENTS IN APRIL!

You can’t argue that spring in Charleston and Mount Pleasant is amazing!    And with the balmy breezes and gorgeous weather, the LowCountry is the PERFECT place for outdoor fitness events!  The Cooper River Bridge Run is just around the corner but why stop there!?!

Read on for some amazing community-based Fitness Experiences happening this April!

April 6th: CRBR Kids Run, Hampton Park, Charleston

Held the day before the Bridge Run, the Kids Run is for ages infant-13 years.  There are three races to chose from: Toddler Waddler (up to ages 36 mos), the 1/2 Mile and the Full Mile.  Adults are encouraged to race with their kiddos!

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 7th: The Cooper River Bridge Run

One of the most popular 10K races in the country, the CRBR is the 3rd largest 10K in the US, bringing in over 40,000 runners each year.

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 14th: Coastal Cyclists Spring Century

Formerly known as the “”After the Bridge Run Ride”, this annual fundraiser for the Coastal Cyclists recreational bicycle club.  The ride begins in Awendaw and winds through the Francis Marion National Forest.  The event has 4 rides to choose from (from 100 to 33 miles).

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 21st: Citadel Bulldog Challenge 10K @ The Citadel

According to their website: “Measuring just over six miles, the race includes the Marine Corps obstacle course, portions of the Combat Fitness Test, a simulated casevac, getting wet and sandy, and much more! All are encouraged to come out, including beginners, fitness enthusiasts, and suckers for pain.” 

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 21st: Insane Inflatable Race

Partnered with the American Cancer Society, the Insane Inflatable Race is just that!  An insane 5K trek through every type of inflatable obstacle imaginable!  This untimed race is more about fun than finishing first, so it’s a great race to share with kiddos and friends.

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 28th Mullet Haul Trail Run 5K, 10K & 5K Relay Trail Run

@ Mullet Hall on Johns Island

This trail race offers three options to run (as implied in the title!) through the trails in Johns Island County Park.  Stay after for post-race music, munchies and drinks.

Click HERE to register and for more info.

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO LISTEN TO OUR BODIES!

With the SPRING FORWARD time change and balmy weather hitting the shores of Mount Pleasant and Charleston, we are in the season of GO!  We’re starting to shake off those winter blues and get outside, get our BODIES moving, and we’re loading up the plans, plans plans!   

And while all of that energy is exciting, it’s important to realize that doing too much at once can have consequences!  This week we are talking about learning to LISTEN TO OUR BODIES.

Athletes sometimes listen to the WRONG voice!

Here at DUFF, we get it!   It’s hard to let go of that constant need to push through the pain, whether its during a workout, fighting that tinge of a sore throat or adding on an extra project at work.   Breaking Muscle gets this conundrum perfectly: “Good athletes are typically good at listening to their coaches. But they’re not always so good at listening to themselves. Truth is, your body knows what you need better than your brain and all the thoughts spinning around inside your skull.” 

So what happens when you DON’T listen to your body?

US News explains, “Our bodies have to speak up like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum when they want attention. They do this in the form of illness, fatigue, stress and more. All of these things are like big fat stop signs begging us to slow down and pay attention to what’s going on inside.”  And what happens when you ignore stress and fatigue?  INJURY and ILLNESS. 

CNN bridges the link between pushing it too hard in the gym and pushing it too hard in life.  Their fitness expert Noam Tamir, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of TS Fitness New York City explains: ”The more you work, the more you train, the more stress you’re putting on the body. If you’re not allowing the body to recover, you’re causing yourself more harm than good.” After all, exercise doesn’t just impact your muscles — it impacts your digestion, kidney function, hormone regulation, and more.”

Learning to listen to your body leads to your BEST LIFE!

And as Psychology Today puts it: “If you listen to your body your real life – your best life – might actually have a hope of finding you. When your life is spent rushing from one thing to another there is very little time, space or energy for creativity, inspiration, or truly useful problem solving and planning.”

So what does “Listen to My Body” actually mean? 

MindBodyGreen has an article with that EXACT title and they boil it down like this: “Stop thinking …for a moment. You need to get quiet. You need to get sensitive, to you. That feeling in your body is where you’ll find your intuition, and your capability to act…Your body is sending you messages, core, gut feelings, all the time. You don’t need to reason them, logic them, or intellectualize them. You just need to act on them.”

So when you feel tired, sore or worn out, don’t look at it as weakness.  Take these signs from your body as RED FLAGS warning you that if you DON’T rest, things will get worse!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on TOP 5 HEALTH TRUTHS to Live By

Hey Mount Pleasant and Charleston DUFFNATICS!  Last week we blogged about 5 health myths that can DERAIL your DIET and thus SABOTAGE any progress you may have made at working out at the gym! 

This week, we’re focusing on the positive and listing the TOP 5 HEALTH TRUTHS TO LIVE BY!Read on to see our favorite Internet experts have to say:

Health Truth #1: There Is No Perfect Diet for Everyone

HealthLine explains, “We are all unique… and subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture and environment can affect which type of diet we should eat.Some people do best on a low-carb diet while others may do fine on a vegetarian high-carb diet. The fact is, what works for one person may not work for the next. To figure out what you should do, a little self experimentation may be needed. Try a few different things until you find something that you enjoy and that you think you can stick to. Different strokes for different folks!”

Health Truth #2:  Exercise Boosts Brainpower

WebMD gets heady with this proven fact about working out explained by  David Atkinson, Director of Program Development for Cooper Ventures in Dallas: “Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function…Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity. All that makes for a more productive day.”

Health Truth #3 Exercise improves mood

The Mayo Clinic goes beyond the brain and makes it about mood: “Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.”

Health Truth #4 Variety, Balance and Moderation are Keys to Healthy Eating

LiveStrong takes it to the plate by explaining that variety isn’t just the spice of life, it’s a key to happiness: “Variety, balance and moderation are three of the most important concepts to keep in mind for healthy eating. Eating a wide variety of foods can help you to obtain as many nutrients as possible and keep your diet interesting Balanced diets include the right amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and other nutrients important to health. Balanced meal plans can help you avoid overloading on one nutrient while neglecting another. Moderation is the ability to recognize your body’s hunger and fullness cues. By focusing on moderation, you can avoid eating too little or eating too much.”

Health Truth #5 Soft Drinks Sabotage Your Diet boils it down to this: ”One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and the average American adult drinks 500 cans of soda every year, estimating about 52 pounds of sugar consumed in soft drinks alone.”  Think of how many burpees it would take to work off all of that sugar!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on 5 “HEALTHY” FOODS TO AVOID

We live in a world of convenience, and nothing proves that more than looking at our food options at our local grocery stores.  You’ll find claims in the isles of stores all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston that scream “LOW FAT” and “DIET”! The message that we’re getting is that if we eat these easy-to-eat packaged goodies, we will magically become healthy.  Turns out though, that like with everything in life, easy is not always better!

The sad thing is that after all the hard work you put in working out at the gym, exercising to stay fit, you can sabotage all of that hard work by eating these HEALTHY IMPOSTERS!  We are NOT about to let that happen to our DUFFNATICS!  Read on to find out the top five “HEALTHY” foods to AVOID.


According to Health Magazine, “Canned veggies are often stripped of fiber and other nutrients, and are often loaded with sodium. If canned veggies are your go-to, you’ll experience decreased nutritional quality or, worse, unknowingly consume them with sugar, additives, sodium, or flavorings that detract from good nutrition and make it harmful.”  The article recommends that if you’re buying canned for convenience, go for frozen veggies instead. They also note that you should be sure to be buying plain vegetables, not those loaded with any type of sauce.


Eat This breaks this writer’s heart (I happen to LOVE Granola).  However: “Granola’s reputation as a health food isn’t exactly well-earned. Many of the granolas at your local supermarket are made using butter, vegetable oil, and white sugar. Just a cup of Nature Valley’s Oats ‘N Honey Protein Granola packs 6 grams of fat from canola oil, as well as 13 grams of white sugar, honey, and molasses. Depending on the brand you buy, you may be consuming far more calories than you’d expect; many granolas have upwards of 400 calories per cup before adding milk.” Tear.


Save your post-workout salad from sabotage. Shape reminds us that simple is better: “Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on light salad dressings? They’re about a mile long! Filled with preservatives and other additives you can’t pronounce—not to mention sodium and sugar—you’re much better off drizzling your veggies with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.”


LiveScience explains that reducing fat isn’t always the best plan.  “The oil is the healthiest part of a peanut or a tree nut, containing most of the nutrients, so there’s no advantage to taking it out. (Peanuts are technically a legume, but dietitians call them nuts because their nutritional characteristics and health benefits closely match those of tree nuts.) In fact, removing the oil makes things worse because it robs the peanut butter of its health benefits. ‘Reduced-fat peanut butter has as many calories and more sugar than the regular’ variety, said Bonnie Liebman, Nutrition Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.” The article continues: “Instead: Buy regular peanut butter and eat real nuts. Eating one or two ounces of nuts daily is associated with reductions in heart disease and lower cancer risk. A recent Harvard study showed that eating nuts is associated with lower body weight, too.” We love eating nuts as a healthy snack before or after working out at the gym.


Contrary to popular belief, Cosmo reminds us that just because the label says “Diet”, it doesn’t mean healthy: “Unfortunately, “diet” or “low-fat” doesn’t mean low-calorie. Diet bars and low-fat foods like yogurts usually have more sugar, salt, and unhealthy fillers to make them taste okay. Even worse, we typically eat double the serving we should because we’re not satisfied or think that it’s okay to eat more because it’s ‘healthy.’”  So simply killing it in a group fitness session doesn’t mean that we’ve earned two Cliff Bars worth of snacking.  Instead go for substance and real protein found in things like eggs, white fish, salmon or tuna.  Plus rewarding yourself with a solid, healthy meal after a workout is FAR more satisfying than choking down a PowerBar in the car on the way home!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on THE BEST SUNGLASSES FOR WORKING OUT

Now that the weather is looking up here in the LowCountry, exercise enthusiasts all over Charleston and Mount Pleasant are starting to take their workouts outside.  We DUFFNATICS are right there with them! But one downside to working out in the sunshine is dealing with SUNGLASSES! 

While sunglasses are an important exercise accessory—as CNN explains, “To protect your eyesight, the most important recommendation you need to follow is to wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation whenever you go outside during daylight hours, according to the National Eye Institute.”—working out in sunglasses can be a pain!  They slide when you start sweating, they fog up AND nobody wants to subject their $300 Wayfarers to the abuse they’ll get while pounding the pavement.

Luckily, there are several great designers out there who have created sunglasses that are STURDY enough to handle the toughest workouts but STYLISH enough to keep you from looking like an extra on Bladerunner! 

Read on to check out our top picks for this season’s sportiest sunglasses!

UA Battlewrap Polarized $145


Fitness Magazine features former pro footballer Curtis Williams’ advice: ”Silicon grips are important in order to keep the glasses from sliding off your face.  Vision and performance go hand in hand, and you want to make sure you can see and react to your coach during drills, and perform through the elements of the outdoor environment.”  From what we can research, it looks like these babies will even stay in place during burpees on the beach!

Click HERE for more info.

Native Eyewear Flatirons $129


We’re in love Health Magazine’s recommendation: “These plastic shades are lightweight and feature nose and ear grips to help them stay in place whether you’re on a jog on the beach or deep into a game of sand volleyball. They also come in a slew of cool colors that scream summer.”  While these are more of a street style, we think the Mastoid Temple Grip will keep these stylish shades from slipping during runs and workouts outdoors.  According to Native’s website, the Grip “ensures temple ends hug mastoid bone behind the ear for a snug fit.” Sold!

Click HERE for more info.

Switch Tioga $224.95


Men’s Health rates Switch the best for high impact sports: “like Switch’s entire eyewear line, [Tioga] uses a magnetic system which makes a lens swap as quick as a lighting shift, and the magnetics are strong enough to hold the lens in place—even during rough sports like snowboarding and mountain biking. Frames and lenses are impact resistant, so don’t be afraid to go full-speed. All eyewear includes one pair of polarized lenses and one pair of low-light rose amber lenses.”  We love that you can also order these glasses with prescription lenses.

Click HERE for more info.

Smith PivLock Overdrive $230

smithPivLock loves the entire Smith Sunglasses line: “In general, you will find interchangeable lenses and maximum coverage without neglecting peripheral vision. The nose pads and temples have non-slip rubber so they stay in place during activity.”  We perused the website and can’t take our eyes off of the PivLock Overdrive. They come in colors that range from simple to totally outrageous (think orange lenses right off of the slopes of PyeongChang!)

Click HERE for more info.

Tifosi Vogel 2.0 $50


And finally, for those who want great exercise glasses without shelling out tons of cash, Women’s Running recommends Tiofis: “With a frameless design and adjustable ear and nose pads, [these are] impressively light and the lenses are fog-resistant.”  Good news glasses wearers, you can get these with prescription lenses too.

Click HERE for more info.

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on THE BEST FITNESS BLOGS OF 2018

Hey Mount Pleasant and Charleston DUFFNATICS: Looking for something inspirational to read while waiting in line at the bank/carpool/your child’s orthodontist/your turn for the bathroom in the morning?  Spark up your smartphone and put that good time to use!  Read on for our favorite (and often FUNNY) blogs of 2018.


GreatList explains, “”Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead, the brains behind Fit Bottomed Girls, are real women with busy lives who understand that exercise should be enjoyable, not punishment. This popular blog has a lighthearted and practical approach to fitness that we seriously dig. It’s a great combo of real talk, laughs, workouts, motivation, and more.”  And WE love the fact that these fitness fanatics update their workout playlist section with new grooves to get your heart pumping!  To check that out, click HERE.

Blog Rec #2: ACE BLOG

HealthLine recommends The American Council on Exercise blog: “Offering science-backed training and information to U.S. fitness professionals and the general public, the aim of American Council on Exercise (ACE) is to reduce preventable, inactivity-related diseases by 2035. In addition to educational programs and training certifications, the nonprofit group shares in-depth articles by health and fitness experts, from certified professional trainers to college kinesiology professors. Some posts are geared toward fitness pros, like how to find a job as a personal trainer or creating effective treadmill interval workouts. Others feature tips for people looking to get healthy, like when and what to eat when you work out and yoga poses for athletes.”  We personally love the last one!  To read more, click HERE.


The experts at Self love Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes “Ashlae’s beautiful blog focuses on fresh, healthy recipes with a dash of travel mixed in—and so does her Instagram feed. It’s all #goals, all the time.” Swoon.  We love here here at DUFF too!  Click HERE for her piece about chocolate protein oats (with full recipe).


Medical News Today gets real with their recommendation of The Fitnessista: “The Fitnessista is a healthy lifestyle blog written by Gina Harney, who is a fitness instructor, personal trainer, and weight loss specialist based in San Diego, CA.  Gina is a mom of two, and she shares snippets of her family life on the blog along with quick, effective workouts and healthful recipes that are super speedy to put together.”   We love her article titled, Getting Past The Mom Guilt To Make Time For Your Health.  We all can relate to that!!!


Shape loves laughing with Running Off The Reeses: “Cely of Running off the Reeses doesn’t just feature workout tips and tricks (though it provides those too), but it also features funny pictures and captions, and on days when you need extra motivation, photos of hot famous guys, like Javier Bardem or Patrick Dempsey.”  We love their irreverent humor (read: links to hilarious Oscar outtakes) mixed in with reading recommendations like the book Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on WAYS TO AVOID THE FLU!

It’s February here in the LowCountry and we are in the thick of it: FLU SEASON.  Poor souls all over Charleston and Mount Pleasant laid low with fever, hacking coughs and headaches.  We’ve already posted about avoiding the gym when you’re sick…but how do you actually avoid GETTING SICK?  Read some of our favorite expert tips on how to say well during this epidemic Flu Season!

Flu Tip #1: Pass On That Second Glass

Prevention Magazine explains in their article, 9 Ways Doctors And Nurses Avoid Getting Sick: “According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, studies have shown that excessive alcohol suppresses the immune system by reducing the ability of white blood cells to effectively kill bacteria—so you’d be wise to stick to the recommended one drink per day for women. Alcohol is also dehydrating and can disrupt your sleep—two more ways to lower your defenses. (Already sick? Romy Block, MD, an endocrinologist and assistant professor at Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, says that a single drink can lengthen the duration of the virus by a few days.)”

Flu Tip #2: Get Your Beauty Rest

Psychology Today explains, “That means at least 7 hours a night. Whether you stay up all night one night, or just consistently don’t get enough sleep (even just a few days in a row), sleep deprivation puts a serious damper on your immune system’s ability to fight off infection.”

Flu Tip #3: Get Your Workout ON!

We love this tip from the Today Show!  They explain that as long as you are NOT ALREADY SICK, working out is great for preventing illness: “Moderate exercise…can slash your risk of catching a cold by 27 percent, Korean researchers report. Working out switches on your immune response, possibly by sending a cascade of ‘natural killer cells’ to hunt the rhinovirus.”

Flu Tip #4: Keep Your Workouts CLEAN!

Here at DUFF we are all about keeping up exercise routines in the face of a Flu outbreak…but the trick is to WORK OUT SMART and WORK OUT CLEAN!  The experts at Health Magazine put it perfectly: “”Gyms are crawling with sweaty towels, dirty sneakers and other germy grossness. Instead of sitting directly on a mat or bench…place a clean towel on it first. Any equipment that [you] have to touch—like free weights or bicycle handlebars…clean first with antibacterial wipes.”  So wipe down BEFORE and AFTER you workout.  And be sure to wash your hands after your workout!

Flu Tip #5: Get Your Shot!

And finally, from the Holy Grail of wellness, the CDC recommends: “The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year.” And what about people who got the flu IN SPITE of getting vaccinated?  Turns out the shot still helps: “Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.” 

And it’s not too late!  If you haven’t already, the FDA explains that it’s still important to get your shot: “Haven’t had your flu shot yet? It’s not too late. And there are still good reasons to get one…when more people get vaccinated, less flu can spread through a community. It can take about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body.”  And since flu season can run as long as late March, you still have PLENTY of time to worry about staying flu free!