If you’re in the mode of stockpiling face masks, hand sanitizers, chicken soup, cold and flu medication, I would like for you to consider this: Your best protection against common airborne illnesses starts within. When you build a strong immune system from the inside out, and don’t sabotage your healthy status with habits that hinder your body’s ability to fight off infection and illness you are able to maintain a state of well-being during the most challenging times. Of course its also very necessary for you to wash your hands as often as possible with good old fashion soap and water.
During this time of year there’s a lot of talk about the Immune system and keeping it healthy and well. But you may be wondering just how do I do this. What do I need to do to keep myself and my family health and well? Do the “things” I hear about movement, herbs and all that natural stuff really work?
Here’s the deal…
Sitting around and doing nothing AKA lack of physical exercise can reduce immunity in two ways. It can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep and can lead to obesity. Now if you are someone that sits at a desk all day, this lack of movement can leave you and your immune system feeling sluggish. But wait here is a simple solution; regular, moderate exercise will make a difference and you will feel the effects immediately. It is best to aim for a daily brisk walk of 30 minutes a day. If you can’t get 30 minutes at one time, you can break this up into 3 10- minute walks. And if you can’t get out for a walk do 3 sets of 10 jumping jacks every 1 ½ to 2 hours. Exercise is great because it increases leukocyte levels in the body and these are the cells that fight infection and keep our bodies healthy and well.
It’s also a great idea to eat as much whole foods as possible, especially organic fruits and vegetables. Choose fruits and veggies for their antioxidants components and their nutrients that protect the cells from free radical damage. Free radical cellular damage has (www.youtube.com/rochelemarielawson) been implicated in heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, and arthritis. Free radicals can also interfere with your immune system causing you to be more vulnerable in both the body and mind. Another benefit of eating whole foods… They help you manage your weight.
Short-term stress may initially boost immunity but chronic stress does the opposite. Chronic stress depletes your immune system exposing your body to a floodgate of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline; which causes havoc on the body and the mind. Learning relaxation techniques, perhaps through yoga, meditation www.meditationsforbliss.com or tai chi, can also boost your immune system and improve your sleep too.
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
Host of Blissful Living Show