You may never have been as in tune to your immune system as you are now.
As we approach fall and winter with caution, there is no better time to get your immune system in tip-top shape for fighting any future illness.
Where do you begin when it comes to creating strong immunity?
As easy as with your day to day actions.
Following, we list out 10 areas of your life that play a vital role in supporting your immune system. Start by focusing on a few areas that need extra attention and aim for achieving all of them.
Getting adequate sleep is one of the most important things you can do for good immunity. Anywhere from 6.5-8 hours of deep, restful sleep is ideal for your body to reset and restore cells and their functions.
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
If losing weight is on your radar for better health, managing it now is crucial. Keep in mind that weight loss that is slow and steady can be more successful when it comes to long-term goals.
This ancient type of diet that was once necessary (think hunters and gatherers), can actually provide the body time to reset, supporting immune function.
For assistance in fasting, support can be found with Prolon® Fasting Mimicking Diet.
Maybe it’s an exercise class, maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s just a lunchtime walk around the block – but whatever it is, do it!
Aim for 30-60 minutes per day, knowing that movement doesn’t have to be intense to be beneficial for blood flow, circulation, detoxification and oxygenation of our immune cells.
- STRESS MANAGEMENT
Stress (and the cortisol released because of it) can significantly lower your immune system function which is why managing it is essential.
Find ways that allow you to take care of your stress level. We especially love creating a space that you can retreat to in order to relax and regroup during this time.
- SUN EXPOSURE
The sun doesn’t give you vitamin D, but it does help your body create it’s own of this beneficial immune nutrient.
Based on your skin type, 20-30 minutes of daily sun exposure without SPF can help your body produce efficient amounts of vitamin D. Just make sure you don’t burn! If you do, limit your time.
Try the app dminder to monitor your exposure and production.
There seem to be endless diets to choose from but when it comes to immune health, fruits and vegetables should be the stars of whatever diet you select.
To keep it simple, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and opt for a quarter to be protein and the other quarter healthy grains. In addition, flavor your plate with garlic, onions, and fresh herbs like oregano for extra immune support.
Gut health is vital when it comes to immune health, especially for upper respiratory illness in which the gut develops mucus membranes that are a first line of defense against viruses.
If you are not having proper bowel movements at least once a day and are particularly struggling with constipation, seek guidance from Dr. Graves.
Don’t underestimate the power of relaxation! Massage is a great way to increase white blood cells, create blood flow, lower cortisol, and improve cell function so they can get where they need to go.
In addition, acupuncture can be an excellent way to support the immune system in fighting illness and healing the body while providing deep relaxation.
- EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION
Stuffing your emotions can be detrimental to building a strong immune system. Don’t bottle them up!
Disconnect from social media and the news, write or talk about how you are feeling, and connect with others in ways such as taking a social distance walk together, going on a picnic, or just calling a good friend to catch up.
All of these tips may be things you’ve heard before, but are you practicing them daily?
If you’re at a point where doing that seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. We encourage you to contact Dr. Graves for help in gaining the mental and physical capacity to follow through with these tips so your immune system and overall health can grow strong.
Please call us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule an appointment for a free 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves if you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker, Centennial, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the greater Denver metro area.
Make sure you don’t wait until illness hits to take care of your immune health. Start now and be prepared.