It's that time of year, stores are getting ready and decorating for fall-season. I'm not referring to the typical fall decorations, I'm referring to the overwhelming amount of flu season reminders, reminding everyone to get their shots!
Yet the simplest and safest bet against the flu - or any one of a number of immune system assaults we face this time of year - is to fortify your immune system. Best of all... No needles are involved!
A healthy immune system is our best defense against the "invaders" we're exposed to. The immune system functions much like a submarine; while it is strong, the water stays out, and the air pressure inside remains conducive to life. When it is weak, and ruptures, the water comes rushing in, sinking the ship and all aboard.
But how does one build a strong immune system?
The top 3 things that can help include:
1) Manage stress: Easier said than done, I know, but the important thing with stress is being aware of it. Something as simple as taking 3 deep breaths, during a time of stress, can interrupt the stress pattern and refocus your attention. Most of us are unaware of the impact that everyday stress has on us. Be mindful of your thought patterns and your breathing. This will help you be in tune with your body and the effects of stress.
2) Exercise: This is key to the lymphatic system functioning properly. Your lymph system moves with skeletal muscle contraction and lymph removes toxins while delivering necessary nutrients! Many of us think "I don't have time to work out" but a quick 10-minute walk will get things moving. Try running up and down the stairs with each bathroom break, do 10 jumping jacks each time you get up from your desk or during commercials.
3) Gut health: As Hippocrates once so brillantly said, "“All disease begins in the gut.” Your digestive tract and gut flora are the foundation for immune integrity and nutrient absorption. Our body has good bacteria that was put there to fight off the bad bacteria (the "invaders"), we strengthen our good bacteria by taking probiotics and pills aren't the only way to do it, drinking homemade Kombucha is a great way to get them too! It's only when the invaders are stronger than our good bacteria/flora, that they take over, and proliferate. That's when we get sick. Our intestinal flora is key to health. Read more about the gut/brain connection: here: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection
Don't wait until you're already run down. Be proactive! Take action while you're immune system is strong, as they say, the best defense is a good offense.