Immunity is one of the top determinants of well being, especially during the cold and flu season, which officially stretches from September to May (that is 9 months by the way, or 3/4 of our lives).
Signs that you need to build immunity include feeling fatigued, run down, vulnerable, easily & frequently catching colds & flus, slow recovery from illness, allergies, and defensiveness. In general, when we feel like we’re constantly fighting – whether it’s at work, in traffic, at home, or inside ourselves – it is a strong indicator that our immunity needs a boost.
So, what is the secret to building immunity? How can we avoid getting sick? The following is a list of helpful tips to build a healthy immune system and avoid frequent illness. You can also check out this post on why you keep getting sick, and what to do about it.
Get enough rest and sleep. Feeling run down usually signifies that you ARE run down – as in you’ve been driving yourself into the ground. A good night’s sleep and a day off will do wonders for the immune system. Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Check out this book on ending insomnia naturally.
IDENTIFY YOUR STRESSORS AND HANDLE THEM.
It is one thing to experience a bit of tension here and there, but it is a whole other situation when you feel like you are constantly running or battling. Identify where you are on the “stress” scale and what it’s about. Not enough money to pay your bills month after month? It’s time to look at your budget and decrease your overhead OR find a way to increase your income to meet your needs. (If I hit the nail on the head with that example, check out how The Paleo Mama paid off $27,000 in debt).
Identify your allergens & avoid them.
Believe it or not, allergies & sensitivities, both in food and environment, are stressors to your immune system. When we expose our bodies to things we know challenge us, we push our bodies to be in a mode of constantly fighting. This fighting forces our adrenal glands to produce extra cortisol which in time depletes our adrenal energy and creates an overall imbalance and weakened resistance. Not sure? Check out these signs & symptoms of common food sensitivities to dairy and gluten.
Keep your head and feet warm.
Do you walk around feeling cold all the time? You need to protect your body from the elements, including cold and wind. The top of the head, chest, upper back, and bottoms of the feet are the most important areas to keep covered. Sleep with socks and a hat if you must – do whatever it takes. It’s one thing to expose yourself to cold and feel robust. It’s another to actually feel invaded. Chills, shivers & can’t get warm? A sure sign you’ve been invaded.
Don’t let your emotions over-power you.
Experiences can be empowering, and they can also sometimes be over-powering. If you have a strong experience, give yourself a little bit of extra attention to be with it. For more on how to master your emotions for great health, read this article.
NOURISH YOUR BODY WITH GREAT NUTRIENTS.
Nutrition is key to a healthy immune system. I cover the basics in this post. Remember, less sugar and processed food, more real food, including fresh, natural foods a combination of cooked and raw foods, and plenty fermented foods & beverages (including certain kinds of beer!) for the probiotic factors.
In moderation, exercise boosts immunity. By improving lung health, oxygenating all of the organs. detoxifying the body, and circulating the blood which carries nutrients to all of the cells, movement is a key factor in immune health. Too MUCH exercise can also deplete the immune system. Ultimately, each body is unique and it is up to you to decide what is a good amount and what is too much for your body. This will change at different times throughout the year, and throughout our lives. For more on this, check out this ebook Real Fit at Every Age – for every age and stage of life, including illness, injury, post-partum, and so much more.
Do you have questions for Julie? Ask in the comments below or post them on my facebook page!
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.