Immune system takes beating at this time- by Jasper Blake

Your immune system can take a beating this time of year.  One of the reasons is that it is typically under more stress.  Shorter days, less sunlight, colder temperatures and varied eating habits can contribute to a higher prevalence of colds and flus.  Sometimes it’s simply a matter of bad luck when you get sick but there are things you can do to at least give us more of a fighting chance.

Here are seven simple things you can do to decrease the chances you will get sick.

 

1. Get More Sleep

It sounds simple but we seem to be moving away from the one fundamental type of recovery that has sustained us since birth; sleep!  Have you ever noticed how much animals sleep?  Animals are typically much more in tune with their bodies and their need for sleep.  They are not bound by the daily routines that we take on, nor do they rely on an endless supply of stimulants such as caffeine and sugar to make it through the day.  If they are tired, they sleep.  Most people could use more sleep.  It is the safest, most productive way to recover and help your immune system stay strong.

 

2. Great Nutrition

Eating well sounds easy but too often we default to foods that generate more stress in our systems than provide quality nutrients for life.  Foods that are high in refined sugars or bad fat sources take energy to deal with rather than provide energy to live with.  Too much of these food sources can leave your immune system and your body in general, starving for the building blocks of sound health.

 

3. Micronutrients and other powerful body support

Micronutrients are nutrients required by humans for many different physiological functions.  It doesn’t take much to become deficient in one of the many micronutrients we depend on for basic body health and immune support.  Antioxidants for example are molecules capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules.  When oxidation occurs the resulting molecule can become a free radical or charged molecule that can cause detrimental reactions within the cells of the body.  Micronutrients such as vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta Carotene all contain antioxidant properties and are easily found in most North American diets or supplement products.

Ginseng is another powerful body supporter that has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.  Ginseng is most noted as being an adaptogen.  Adaptogens are herbal products that are believed to increase resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue.  Ginseng is commonly used to help boost the immune system as a result of its adaptogenic properties.

7SYSTEMS endurance sports supplement is so effective in helping you stay healthy because it contains all these micro-nutrients, and many more ingredients.  

 

4. Rejuvenating Exercise

Instill some healthy, rejuvenating exercise into your life.  There are things you can do that may not be scientifically proven to boost your immune system but can definitely mitigate some of the stressors.  A great example is yoga.  Yoga is a very restorative type of exercise meaning it doesn’t beat you down but works to rejuvenate and regenerate.  Yoga poses can increase blood flow, circulation and general well being which all contribute to a healthier body, mind and nervous system.

 

5. Less Stress

Stress can come in any form and typically our bodies can’t really tell the difference between stressors.  Whether it’s job related, relationships, travel, overexertion, extreme exercise or pathogens, the body can only handle so much before it cracks.  Too much stress can leave your immune system compromised.  It’s important to periodically step outside your life and evaluate where you can eliminate stress.

 

6. Wash your hands

Most cold and flu pathogens are spread through simple contact.  Washing your hands regularly can be a very simple way to decrease the spread of a pathogen from one host to another.

 

7. Stay Hydrated

One of the most common issues athletes can run into during the winter months is dehydration.  Often in the winter we underestimate fluid loss.  In the summer we are typically more diligent about hydrating because we are constantly reminded to do it.  Hotter temperatures and visible sweating are clear indicators that we need to hydrate.  In the winter we still sweat and experience fluid loss and often at very significant levels but we don’t have the outside stimulus to remind us.  Dehydration is another form of stress on the body that can inevitably lower your defenses.


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