By: Dr. Ryan Lee
The season of falling leaves and cooler temperatures is upon us, which means you’ll soon be braving the elements with less protection from the sun and spending more time indoors. The cooler seasons also come with increased risk of the common cold, flu and other bugs. Your immune system is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection and disease and our immune systems are complex and influenced by many factors. While keeping your immune system strong to ward off nasty colds and other bugs isn’t always easy, there are some things you can do to help boost your body’s natural defenses this fall and winter season. We’ll share some steps you can take to keep your immune system healthy and you feeling your best this fall and winter.
Wash Your Hands
The first line of defense is to keep germs at bay by following good personal hygiene habits. It’s easy to forget about hand washing, but it’s one of the best ways to prevent getting sick. Here are a few tips on how to be a more conscientious hand washer: – Wash your hands before and after eating, especially if you’re dealing with raw meat or eggs. – Wash your hands before and after using the restroom or touching someone who is sick. – Carry an alcohol-based sanitizer in case you can’t get soap and water.
Eat your fruits and veggies
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your immune system strong. A healthy, balanced diet that is high in fruits and vegetables nourishes your body and helps to keep your immune system healthy. These foods are often packed with vitamins A, C, D, and other key nutrients that can support your body’s ability to fight infection. Some of the best choices are oranges, leafy greens, broccoli, celery, carrots and apples. If you don’t have time to prepare a full meal with fresh fruits and vegetables, try making a smoothie or fruit salad with yogurt or cottage cheese. Eating fruits and vegetables with a variety of color ensures that our body is nourished with essential nutrients to support our immune system.
Get enough sleep
A good night’s sleep is the best way to keep your immune system strong. When you’re well rested, your body has time to recover from the day’s stresses and fight off illness. Try to go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day, including weekends. You’ll sleep better when you’re not worried about what time it is or if you need to get up early. When we sleep, our bodies produce a protein called cytokines, which target infection and inflammation, creating an immune response. Our bodies also produce T-cells during sleep, which are white blood cells that play a critical role in our body’s immune response to an infectious disease
You might not be able to avoid the cooler weather, but you can take steps to reduce your stress level during this time of year. Here are some simple ways to help you feel more relaxed:
– Practice meditation or deep breathing techniques daily.
– Get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
– Spend time with friends and family who make you happy.
– Take a break from social media every once in a while, so that you’re not constantly comparing yourself to others.
– Schedule a massage with us so you’re feeling your best.
Boost your Vitamin D level
Vitamin D is essential for bone health as well as muscle and nerve functions. Vitamin D also helps the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. You can get this important vitamin from food, the sun or supplements. One of the best ways to get enough vitamin D in your diet is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all of the food groups, including some fortified foods. Also aim for about 15 minutes of mid-day sun exposure at least twice per week, but don’t forget your sunscreen!
Staying active is another way to boost your immunity this fall and winter. This can include walking, going on a bike ride, getting a workout in at the gym, or even engaging in some outdoor activities like hiking or even cross-country skiing. There are many other activities you can do that will also boost your immune system so be creative! Regular physical activity plays a role in keeping you healthy and preventing illnesses.
See your Chiropractor
There are many reasons why people see their chiropractor. Some of the more common reasons are to help with neck and back pain, but did you know that seeing your chiropractor can also help boost your immune system? Chiropractic adjustments can boost the body’s natural defenses. Regular chiropractic care and adjustments encourage spinal health, restore joint function, and therefore support the nervous system. As a result of improved function and mobility in your spine and body, you can actually boost your immune system. Schedule your appointment with us today.
By integrating these practices into your regular health routine, you can enjoy the immune system boosting benefits.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.