How Can You Improve Your Immune System During Flu Season
You made it through the holidays without getting sick, but you’re not out of the woods yet. Flu season is at its peak December through February. While your focus may be staying on track with your New Year’s resolutions, eating fewer calories and working out more, you need to make sure your goals are on par with building your immune system.
A healthy immune system is reliant on several contributing factors, including regular exercise, avoiding stress and eating right. Here are some tips for improving your immune system during flu season.
• Take a brisk walk, every day for at least 30 minutes. Establishing a workout routine is important to your overall health and boosts your natural immunities. Consider teaming up with a friend who can hold you accountable. Plus, chatting with someone during your workout makes it less work and more fun.
• Get sufficient rest, at least 7-8 hours a night. When you’re sleeping, your body repairs and restores in order for you to wake refreshed and alert. Depriving your body of this can leave you susceptible to more illness.
• Enjoy natural vitamin D – sunlight! Take the time to get outside. Most Americans are vitamin D deficient which causes a number of negative health effects.
• Put down the coffee and drink more water. Rather than pouring that first cup of coffee in the morning, guzzle a glass of water. You’ve just deprived your body of any fluids for 7-8 hours and it needs to be rehydrated. Water helps you flush out toxins and aides in weight loss!
• Find ways to decompress. Excessive stress can impact your immune system greatly. Take a few moments to mediate, practice yoga or simply pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read.
• Improve your oral hygiene. Removing excess bacteria in your mouth is extremely important to protecting your immune system.
“Scraping your tongue helps to remove bacteria, food particles, and dead cells from your tongue. When these toxins aren’t removed from the tongue, they are reabsorbed back into the body, which can compromise your immune system.” says Dr. Espinosa DDS. A tongue scraper is a long, thin, u-shaped piece of metal and to use properly you hold with both hands, placing as far back on the tongue as possible, and firmly sliding it forward. Make sure to rinse afterwards. Dr. Espinosa recommends doing this daily, first think in the morning.
• Smile and laugh! Those that have happier lives have healthier immune systems. Spend more time with those that make you laugh, watch a funny movie or check out the latest comedy video on YouTube.
• Try to avoid sugar, it really won’t make you feel better, and reduces the effectiveness of your immune system. Read labels to see how much sugar you consumer in your daily life. You may be surprised that even non sweet foods contain a ton of sugar and corn syrup.
• Choose natural sugars, like fruits and vegetables. A variety of fruits and vegetables can aide in building a healthy immune system. Choose bright colors, like strawberries and spinach, and those that contain vitamin C – an immunity booster!
• Make sure you’re eating enough protein. Protein is required to build, maintain and repair your body. To find out how much protein you should be eating, follow this guideline; body weight (in pounds) x 0.36 = recommended protein intake (in grams).
• Eat more garlic, said not your significant other! But if you do it together, it won’t be so bad. Garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties that can fight disease. That should be reason enough.
• Consider taking a probiotic. You may want to consult your doctor prior to taking, but probiotics give your body good bacteria and can boost your immune system. Or you could simply incorporate more yogurt into your diet. Make sure it’s made with goat’s milk, which has been infused with more probiotics.
• Supplement with a daily vitamin. You will get most of your nutrients from food, but you may not be getting all you need. Talk with your pharmacist about the best vitamin for you based on your age, gender and level of activity.
• Wash your hands regularly. Seems like a no-brainer but washing your hands is the best way to fight infection, especially after you have been around people or in public places.
• Get a flu shot and regular medical screenings. Build your immune system by protecting yourself against the flu virus.
Dr. Espinosa and the Bonita Del Rey team are committed to providing you healthful tips for your daily life. Our promise is to take care of you, <em>“We make it our mission to actually change peoples’ lives by keeping them healthy, transforming their smiles and watching their whole attitude toward life improve, it’s truly priceless,” says Dr. Espinosa. Call today for a free consultation.