by Lisa Golebieski, M.S.
With the current widespread epidemic of influenza this year, building and maintaining a strong immune system is key to helping us stay healthy. There are many ways that we can help our bodies have a solid immunity against viruses and not just during cold and flu season but all year-long.
Here are some valuable tips to strengthen and build:
1. Sleep like a baby. It may sound silly but the more we sleep the more our bodies repair and keep our immune system in check. Opt for at least 8 hours a night. Try to also sleep in during the weekends or days off from work. Those extra hours of shut-eye really do help your body stay healthy.
2. Sweet tooth? Believe it or not, sugar has a negative effect on the immune system. It weakens the body’s defenses (particularly while blood cells) against illness. Consume sugar in moderation.
3. Get that body moving. Mild to moderate exercise everyday boosts the immunity. We are not talking about a strenuous workout here….which could actually have the opposite effect by putting a strain on your immune system. A 20 to 30 minute brisk walk is a perfect example of the kind of exercise your body would most benefit from.
4. Keep your tummy toasty warm. What do I mean by that? Try not to eat or drink anything extremely cold. Icy cold foods such as ice cream, Italian ice, iced coffee, cold beverages filled with ice (you get the idea) slows down digestion and can disrupt your body’s immune system.
5. Spoil yourself silly. You can strengthen your immune system by almost 40% just by spending some quality “me time”. Little indulgences such as reading your favorite book, getting a massage, enjoying a hot latte, taking a bubble bath or anything that makes you feel happy and relaxed.
6. Pop that multivitamin. Regularly taking a multivitamin (that contains Vitamin C and zinc) gives your immune system the support it needs to stay active. Include Elderberry extract (available in lozenge, liquid or tea) to give immunity a daily jump-start.
7. Become a PRO with probiotics. About 50% of the immune system is housed in the gastrointestinal tract. Taking a daily probiotic such as Bio-K protects the immunity in the gut by maintaining healthy flora.
8. Don’t stress the small stuff. We don’t want to take away from our immune system by dealing with undo stress. Keep a positive outlook on life and avoid toxic situations. When you are happy in your environment, see the glass as half full and are surrounded by a loving family and friends your body will respond in the healthiest way possible. The way we feel and react emotionally affects us physically. Our goal is to SAVE our immunity to fight off viruses and keep our bodies protected.
Let’s make it through Winter and Spring ahead in good health!
Lisa Golebieski, MS Holistic Nutrition Consultant
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