How many people know that one friend or coworker who is always sick? Or do you feel like you might be that person? You know how it is, that lingering cough that won’t shake or those sniffles that seem to never go away. Especially in the winter, we are all more susceptible to catching whatever it is that’s “going around” since we often spend more time cooped up in enclosed spaces longer which makes it easier for bugs and germs to spread. Viruses can also live longer in colder temperatures which is why the winter months are often dubbed “cold and flu season.” 

Now, with the recent news swirling regarding the Coronavirus, it seems like everyone is on high alert. While it’s important to be cognizant of spreading germs and common viruses, that is no reason to press the panic button. There is more you can do than simply washing your hands (but we can’t stress the importance of washing your hands enough!!) that will help to build our immune system. Even those who practice healthy habits can find themselves falling victim to headaches, sneezing, chills- the gamut. But it is possible to ward off these kinds of symptoms, strengthen the immune system, and continue living your day-to-day.

Functional Training

Regular exercise certainly helps your immune system to perform at a high level by sending those white blood cells (the ones the fight infections) through the body faster to do their jobs better. However, what is really key here is also allowing your body the proper rest and recovery that it needs post-workout. After a particularly difficult workout or if you’re pushing yourself too hard, the number of white blood cells in your system actually lowers and stress hormones rise instead. Your immune system works best when it isn’t sent into overdrive so remember to replace lost fluids, stretch, get your nutrients in, and rest after a workout.

Holistic Nutrition

It’s a no-brainer here: if you’re trying to fuel your body with crap, you’re going to feel like crap! Your body will not be functioning at its best if you aren’t taking in a well-rounded, balanced diet. Following The EPIC Life Formula is a sure-fire way to ensure that you are getting in the proper nutrients your body needs- not only to function but to give more power to your immune system. After all, you are what you eat! We know, in particular, citrus foods like grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines are great for increasing the production of white blood cells through their natural Vitamin C but did you also know that red bell peppers, broccoli, papaya, and spinach are also packed with that vitamin PLUS loads of other minerals? You don’t have to strict to a strict citrus-and-hot-water diet when you start to feel a cold coming on, you can still have fun with your food.

Keeping your body properly hydrated is another way to stave off unwanted viruses and infections. While mild to moderate dehydration can be tough to identify, it can still make you sick. Don’t want to worry about it? Simply sip water all day long. It’s that easy!

Nature

Vitamin D plays a big role in a healthy immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is actually prominent in cases of autoimmune disease. The easiest way to get a bit of a boost? Get outside! Soak in as much sunshine as possible- even in winter. 

Vitamin D aside, spending time in nature is still attributed to increasing the function of the immune system. Exposure to nature switched the body in rest-mode which gives the body its chance to build our immune system up! The immune system is the pathway for which nature heals the body, whether that be fighting off a common cold or other diseases.

Self-Care

Putting yourself into rest-mode, as mentioned previously, helps to strengthen the immune system. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which is that feeling of decompression that allows us to unwind from our hectic daily lives. Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises slow down the go-go-go cadence in your brain and allows you to really indulge that PNS activation. Stress does a world of hurt to our immune system so it’s important to get our stress levels down to manageable levels to make the most of our immune system.

Lower stress levels also help us sleep better. This is the recovery time your body depends on every single day to get through the next. When you sleep, your body releases cytokines which are proteins that help to fight off inflammation and disease. If you’re sleep-deprived, your body won’t be producing enough cytokines, not to mention your body has not had enough rest-mode, your brain will feel fuzzy, and your stress levels will spike causing a decrease in your immune system function.

For when you’re feeling fresh and ready to take on the world, or when you’re feeling that tickle in the back of your throat, we’re here to provide tips, insight, and advice on how you can live your healthiest and most balanced life. Ready to get started? Just reach out to set up your complimentary EPIC Life Assessment