We all get sick...well most of us do. I know people who never get sick and I am secretly envious of how well their bodies work. I tend to get mad at myself when I come down with a cold, but then I have to remember that I am doing everything I can to stay healthy everyday. It happens and because I know what to do when it does, I am better in a couple days rather than a couple weeks.
So, now that we are heading into colder months and staying indoors more (i.e. getting less of the sunshine vitamin (D) we need to be sure we are making our 'self care' of the utmost importance! If you have an autoimmune disorder, your immune system needs you to stay on top of your self care now more than ever. We are exposed to viruses and bacteria everyday that can be harmful. All of those things can weaken your immune system. Here are a few ways to protect our bodies and stay healthy when that happens.
5 easy ways to boost your immune system:
Sleep Well: This is one of the most important things you can do for your mind, body and immune system every single day. Sleep deprivation is stress you are adding to your body that it cannot control. Lack of sleep causes a loss of white blood cells which your immune system needs to fight inflammation and infection. Sleep influences every aspect of your day to how you feel, how well you are mentally focused and how to fight a flu virus. Make sure you get the necessary 7-10 hours. If you think you need more, take a nap, get it in.
Improve your diet: When I say diet, I don't mean restricting calories. I mean the foods you consume for health. Foods that you like to eat and that actually make you feel good! One of the most important things you can do is pay attention to how certain foods make you feel. Healthy foods help build your bodies defense team up! Steer clear of processed foods. If you don't know what is in it, neither will your body! Try to eat foods that are natural to the earth and not made in a lab.
- Take your vitamins: The reason they are called 'supplements' is exactly that; they supplement the nutrients we need from our foods. Today's produce does not have as many vitamins and minerals as they once did. If you are sick or have a chronic illness, your body needs vitamins more than ever! It's not getting what it needs from your daily lifestyle and eating habits. Just remember, that that is ok! We all need help in certain areas of our daily lives. Making sure your body is functioning at its best is highly important.
- Exercise: Find something you enjoy. Exercise should never be a form of punishment for eating poorly or a way to out run a bad diet (not even possible). If you like yoga try pilates or gyrotonics. If you like running, try doing endurance training. What I am saying is, try something that makes your body move. You never know what you'll end up enjoying and when you enjoy doing something thats beneficial for you, you'll see results faster! Exercise is also an effective way to reduce inflammation. As an individual with MS, I work out because I love it and because I know it is a powerful anti-inflammatory version of medicine I can do for myself. Sweating is your bodies way of detoxing. Try finding a way to sweat everyday! Just remember, any workout that is longer than an hour can actually cause your body to become inflamed.
- Being Mindful: This is an important factor for every single aspect of you life! One of the main reasons I teach my clients to meditate is to practice being present. In a world where we are way over stimulated with technology, we need to remind ourselves to pay attention to the moments of days that pass by. When was the last time you ate food without any distractions?! It's hard, trust me. Take a second and lift your eyes away from your phone. Pay attention to where you are and what's happening. Maybe try reading a book on your commute instead of looking at Instragram. Make a list or start a notebook of things you are grateful for. You'll be surprised at the amazing things you've got in your everyday life!
In love and health,