The 3 Best Ways to Boost Your Immune System
By Patty Burke, Health & Life Coach and Owner, Whole Health
With flu season upon us and the Delta variant still running rampant, now more than ever we need to focus on boosting our immune systems for the challenges they face.
But first, what is the immune system anyway?
Your immune system is an integrated physiologic system that protects you against threats such as infections, toxins, and illness. It plays a key role in helping you grow, develop, and live longer, and it stays on alert for anything that threatens your health.
Things that pose a risk to this essential system include:
Drinking excess alcohol.
Exposure to carcinogens.
Getting inadequate sleep.
Failing to wash your hands.
Now that you know a few things that harm your immune system, let’s talk about what you can do to actively help it!
The top three things you can do to boost your immunity (in addition to a FLU and COVID shot) are:
Improve your gut health
Did you know that 80-90% of your immune system is housed in your gut? That means that the healthier your gut is, the better you are able to fight infection and disease.
To improve your gut health, focus on:
Eating antioxidant-rich foods, such as blueberries, pecans, and dark chocolate
Including vegetables and greens in your meals and snacks
Reducing processed/packaged foods, dairy products, and sugars
Adding supplements as recommended by your physician
Regarding exercise, we all know that it’s good for us, but how do we find the time and motivation to fit it in?
One of the best things we can do to get more movement in our lives is to incorporate activities that we loved as children. Jumping rope? Roller skating? Trampoline time? Choose an activity that brings you joy, and getting moving will be much easier and more fun!
And finally…stress. It’s a part of all of our lives, so the better we learn to manage it, the happier and healthier we will be. The good news is, reducing our stress levels doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. Try:
Honoring what feels good to you.
Notice if you tend to overcommit your time in order to please others. What’s one thing on your schedule that you can cancel this week?
Taking 5 deep conscious breaths.
Within 2 minutes, the breath shortcuts the nervous system and turns off stress.
You can do this in your car, at work, or before bed. Even when there’s chaos going on throughout your day, you can always return to your breath.
Repeating a mantra.
A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself, like ‘I am at peace.’
When thoughts creep into your head, acknowledge them, and gently redirect your attention to your mantra.
Now that you know how to boost your immune system, the most important thing is that you take some action! Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the things you could do, commit to making one small change over the next 7 days.
When you do, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear how you’re committing to a healthier you!