There remains debate over whether or not to get your yearly 'flu shot'. Whether or not you opt for the flu shot, there are still other measures you can take to help avoid the flu - all by strengthening your immune system. Here are some ways that help:
Diet: Foots and conditions which may negatively impact the immune system include:
- Rancid Oils
- Excessive Alcohol
- Excessive Caffeine
- Processed and Overcooked Foods
- Food Allergies
Exercise: Moderate, consistent exercise benefits the immune response and when exercise is performed daily, the effect become cumulative. Those who exercise regularly, therefore, will be better able to recover from health challenges and will be sick less frequently. (Extreme exercise negates this benefit)
Sleep: Lack of sleep is related to obesity as well as a depressed immune system. Melatonin, an antioxidant hormone which stimulates the immune system, is normally increased at night, allowing for restful sleep. Electrical pollution can interfere with Melatonin production and thus affect our immune system as well as our quality of sleep. Remove electronic devices from the bedroom, including cell phones. Unplug wireless routers, remove electric blankets and keep appliances, such as alarm clocks, at least six feet away from the bed.
Stress Management: By now most of us know that stress negatively impacts the immune system. We know that 80% of all physician visits are for stress-related illness. One way to reduce stress if through catharsis - laughing, crying, talking to a trusted friend or adviser, and journaling.
Spiritual Practice: This can include anything from meditation, gratitude and strong personal relationships to laughing, dancing, singing and being in nature. It seems our immune system benefits from liberal doses of joy and connection.
In addition to these measures, frequent hand washing and avoidance of those who are obviously sick are recommended. Since you can't avoid 'germs' such as influenza virus altogether, it's prudent to keep your immune system in good running order. So, take a walk, eat your veggies, get plenty of sleep, take time for fun and listen to the voice within.
Amanda Murphy, of Wellness Paths, shares her insights and experience of more than 40 years in the healthcare field through informative, dynamic, thought-provoking workshops and coaching which invite participants to experience wellness.