Defence, Defence, Defence… 5 ways to help our immune system beat colds and flu this Winter
Cold and flu season is here again! It’s time to call in the immunity defence force to help ward off the nasty bugs and lurgies that attack in Winter.
What can we do to help give our immune system the best fighting chance?
Exercise strengthens your immune system. Regular exercise helps maintain healthy body weight and reduces the risks of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research has also shown that consistent exercise can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
It is recommended that you aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity three times per week. Low impact workouts like yoga/Pilates, walking, swimming and cycling are an excellent option for people who find running or other aerobic movements too strenuous.
2. MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
Eat well, live well! Good, balanced nutrition will build up your immune defence force and help you maintain a healthy body and mind.
Load up on fruit and vegetables, especially those high in Vitamin C, Zinc and antioxidants. Gut health plays a vital role in your immunity, so make sure your tummy is in fighting condition by eating probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, yoghurt and miso.
Check out To Boost or Not To Boost? Are You Immune? www.connectchiropractic.com.au/blogs/posts/2020/may/to-boost-or-not-to-boost-are-you-immune/ for more info about immune-boosting foods.
3. Smoke Screen
Quit smoking! You know cigarettes are terrible for your overall health and increase your risk of developing respiratory diseases like asthma, lung cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia. Stopping smoking will improve your blood circulation, respiratory function, oxygen exchange, and lower inflammation. Your body will function better if it can breathe properly.
Speak to your family doctor or visit Quitline. quit.org.au (137 848) for beneficial information on giving up cigarettes.
4. R&R (Rest and Recreation)
Stress less, and your body won’t end up a mess! Chronic stress causes your body to release cortisol (a stress hormone) over a prolonged period. Increased cortisol lowers the effectiveness of your immune system.
You can do many things to combat stress, so it’s essential to find a way to relax that works for you. Allow yourself the downtime. Go for a nice walk, meditate, practise yoga, read a book, listen to music – the choice is yours.
Boost your Vitamin D stores by spending time in the sun (but ensure you remain ‘sun smart’, of course). Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in the activation/function of your critical immune cells. If you’re feeling the Winter blues, Vitamin D also helps to enhance your mood. Make the most of the beautiful morning sun by using this time to exercise or do your gardening.
If the weather prevents you from getting outside or your levels are super low, try a supplement and/or eat Vitamin D fortified food.
5. Lights Out
Sleep is vital for the maintenance of good health. When you sleep well, your body rests and heals from the busy and stressful day you have experienced.
Proper rest aids your body in fighting infection because you produce special immune proteins (cytokines) and increase T cell production when you sleep. These assist in mediating and regulating your immune system and inflammation, which helps you get back to fighting fit. Regular, healthy sleep has incredibly beneficial effects on many aspects of mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. <link to www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au>
Chiropractic care helps you move and sleep better and manage the effects of stress on your body. It’s also much easier to kick any bad habits when you’re feeling healthy and positive.
To book a consultation and find out how we can help you build your immune system, please contact Connect Chiropractic on 03 9512 5882
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