As the Summer comes to an end and we head into Fall, people have already begun talking about “The Cold and Flu Season.”
There is no cold and flu season. Bacteria and viruses are always present, and the only thing stopping them is your immune system.
While your immune system is also always present, this is the time of year where the immune system normally takes a hit.
The majority of us take our bodies for granted, and only when they don’t function the way we want do we take pause to wonder what went wrong.
The Culprits: lack of sunlight, sugar, lack of exericse, stress
As Fall begins, we have less sunlight. In very basic terms, this means you will lack vitamin D now
(see our other article “Everything You Need to Know about Vitamin D” for more information of why this is so important). The reason this is so key as we come into this time of year is because vitamin D is very important for your immune system.
What further causes a hit on your immune system is that we are heading into the time of sugar!
With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, candy and cookies and other treats abound. Sugar is extremely bad for your health, causing inflammation in the entire body. Without going too far into the evil that is sugar, basically this means your immune system is being harmed.
Another aspect that makes your immune system slow is that exercise often falls short when the days get cold and short.
Exercise performs many health functions for you, and the immune system is one of the systems that need it! For instance, your lymph system cleans up your body but needs you to move your body in order to flow properly. No movement = no flow of the lymph, so the trash just gets to build up.
Stress is another biggie for your immune system. There isn’t a single system in your body that does well with stress, but our immune system is the one you’ll notice the quickest.
As the Holidays approach, most people get very stressed because to-do lists get longer and there seems to be less time to do everything. Stress is actually a cause for many health problems, not just cold and flu.
Between these factors, the immune system keeps getting lower and cannot do its job properly – which is to keep you healthy and happy.
You can do something about this though!
Your actions support your immune system:
- Chiropractic Care – every time you get adjusted, your immune system gets a boost.
- Supplementation – there are supplements to help with vitamin D3, but this must be done correctly so it doesn’t become toxic for you (see our other article “Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin D). There are various supplements to support your immune system at this time, but it is best to come in for your nutrition appointment so we can really pinpoint what your body truly needs, rather than a generic lineup of supplements that may or may not be needed.
- Avoid Sugar! This seems very basic, but a lot of us don’t realize just how much sugar we ingest. Be honest with yourself and really keep an eye on this. There are no positives for your health from ingesting sugar. And while we’re on the topic of food, grains don’t give you a health benefit either. Avoid the processed sugar foods and your body will thank you.
- Get exercise! Being outdoors is the healthiest way to achieve this, but your body will thank you just as long as you do keep exercising! If we’re looking at the lymph system, something as simple as gentle bouncing on a stability ball or rebounder/trampoline is enough to get it flowing! Hiking, yoga, weight lifting, HIIT/Burst training, it all counts. There are many options and you need to choose what works for you!
To help decrease stress on you and your body, make sure you get proper sleep. Having a screwed up sleep cycle sets you up for a lot of health issues including Alzheimer’s, mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc.
You need 8 hours of sleep. Scientifically there is no way around this. This may not be achievable instantly for you, but start working on it now!
Also, make sure you take time outs for yourself. Whether it’s 10 minutes meditating, visualization, reading an inspiring book, yoga, anything! Do something for yourself that takes care of you in a healthy way and also boosts your health!
Self care in and of itself is a huge topic that we will get back to because self care is grossly lacking in our society nowadays. But start with these suggestions, pick what resonates with you, and go from there.