It’s Flu Season! How Can You Protect Yourself?

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the flu is running rampant right now, and it’s an especially bad season. This year, many of my patients have been hit hard and knocked out for weeks. While there is no one hundred percent effective way to prevent infection, here are some quick tips to protect your health and boost your immune system:

  1. Wash your hands often. This is possibly the easiest method to employ and also one of the most successful. Keeping germs off your hands—which you use to rub your eyes, blow your nose, eat, etc.—will help keep germs out of your system.
  2. Do not touch your face. Microbes can enter your body through your mucous membranes in your nose, eyes, and mouth and can easily transmit infection to the rest of your body.
  3. Drink plenty of water. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces. If you weight 150 lbs you should drink at least 75 oz. Sip your water throughout the entire day instead of chugging it in a couple sittings, so it’s not so taxing on your kidneys.
  4. Sleep! Adults should be sleeping 7-8 hours per day, and I know with our busy lives most of us are not even close to that. But sleep is vital to protecting your body and recharging your immune system so it’s important to make it a priority. Start simple and begin going to bed 30 minutes earlier the first week, and then strive for additional added sleep time until you reach the goal. Also try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, as the routine will make it easier for your body to adapt to the schedule.
  5. Eat the good stuff. Organic fruits and veggies, good quality proteins, and healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil or nuts, should be the base of your diet. Avoid processed foods and sugars as much as possible—this creates an imflammatory response in your body and healthy food can still be delicious. I love making green smoothies. It’s a quick way to get in more servings of a variety of veggies and fruits. Stay tuned for an upcoming post with my green smoothie recipe.
  6. Exercise regularly. Exercise boosts the immune system, and your endorphins! Going for a daily 30 minute brisk walk is a great start. If you don’t have much time, your best bet is to find a quick, high-intensity workout because it’ll give you the most bang for your exercise buck. There are so many on different exercises on YouTube and most are just using your own body weight. I also work out once per week at SuperSlowLA. Check out their website: www.superslowla.com. This is a great way to squeeze in a quick heavy resistance training work out
  7. Dry brushing. This is my new pre-shower routine! I’ll share more in a future post but here are a few reasons why I do this. It helps detoxifies the body by improving lymph drainage, promotes circulation, and exfoliates the skin, which improves tightness and reduces cellulite. I purchased this dry brush from Amazon.
  8. Boost your Vitamin D. Get your Vitamin D levels checked by your doctor to see if you are getting enough. (Psst, I can do this for you too). Your vitamin D should be in the 60-80 range. If not, make sure you supplement appropriately by talking with your doctor or another trained professional like me. Vitamin D is also absorbed through sun exposure, so get out in the sun and take a walk!
  9. Manage your stress levels. Stress increases inflammation, which decreases the immune system. We all have stress, so the best thing to do is find the most effective way for you personally to alleviate your stress; every body is different. You might try deep breathing techniques, a heart rate variability monitor to help you become aware of your heart rate and how you can control it (I use this one: Heartmath), exercise, meditation (Headspace is an app that makes meditation easy to begin), walking, and even just finding a quiet moment in your day to breathe and relax.
  10. Herbs, Supplements & Essential Oils. During this time of year I always suggest taking high quality supplements and herbs, and using essential oils to help boost your immune system and recover more quickly if you do get sick. Some favorites are lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon, but there are many to choose from and discover which works best for you. Our office always has theses in stock so please give us a call (424.273.1210)!

Prevention is always the best medicine, so give these methods and try, and please let me know how they work out! I am always happy to discuss ways to improve your health and quality of life so you can have a happy and healthy 2018!

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