Fall is coming, brought to you by cool days, plump pumpkins, and changing leaves. There’s a lot to enjoy about the fall season, but it’s essential to acknowledge that with cold weather comes cold and flu season and, in this day and age, COVID season.
We don’t mean to be Debbie downers or to rain on your fall parade. We just want everyone to be prepared. One way you can protect yourself this year is by preparing your immune system to fight against nasty pathogens.
Keep reading for tips and tricks that will help keep you healthy and happy throughout the fall and beyond.
What Is the Immune System?
Your immune system is composed of a complex network of organs, cells, and proteins that fight against infections and other diseases. It includes white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system, such as the:
- Lymph nodes
- Lymph vessels
- Bone marrow
So how can you ensure that your immune system is in peak performance? Many factors dictate how well your immune functions. While some of these may be out of your control, you can take steps to help your immune system keep up with the demands of cold and flu season.
You’ll want to center your meals around fresh produce. Fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables and fresh, lean protein sources will provide the necessary polyphenols and antioxidants to support your immune system.
You’ll want to avoid highly processed and fatty foods, which cause insulin spikes and inflammation, both horrible for your immune system.
A healthy diet also includes many necessary vitamins and minerals, including zinc and vitamin D.
Try cooking with garlic, as some studies show it can boost your immune system and reduces the number of days you’ll be out from a cold or flu by 61%.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), poor sleep negatively affects the immune system in three ways:
- Reduces natural killer cell production, increasing your risk for cancer and viral infections
- Generates inflammatory cytokines, heightening the risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders
- Reduces antibody production, which helps fight viruses and other infections
A healthy adult should get seven to eight hours of restful sleep daily.
It would be best if you also prepared a routine prior to bedtime that prepares your body for sleep. Avoid using cell phones, tablets, or computers at least an hour before bed, and do no reading in bed.
If you’re tossing and turning, don’t stay in bed for more than 15 minutes. If you hit that 15-minute mark, get up and do something boring around your home until you feel ready for sleep.
Melatonin supplements may help you sleep.
You are probably aware that exercise has many health benefits. However, did you know that regular exercise can lower the production of stress hormones like cortisol, which can suppress the immune system?
Exercise also boosts your circulation, making it much easier for immune cells and other pathogen-fighting molecules to travel through your body.
Any activity is preferred over nothing. However, you should focus on getting your heart pumping at least a few times a week.
Daily stress is awful for your immune system and can drain your ability to stay healthy. It doesn’t matter if your daily stressors are large or small; they can push your immune system.
This means you must take time for self-care, which looks different for everyone.
Try reading, journaling, meditating, walking, or hitting the spa. Simple breathing exercises are also a helpful strategy. You can try the 4-7-8 method. Inhale for four counts, hold for seven counts, and exhale for eight counts. Performing this exercise at least four times triggers a relaxation response.
Visit The James Clinic!
With The James Clinic, not only can you schedule an appointment for a check-up before cold and flu season, but we also provide IV vitamin infusions to boost your micronutrient levels, thus promoting a healthy immune system.
We custom formulate the IV for each patient based on their individual health, goals, and prior experiences. So, know that the treatment you’re receiving is really meant for you!
Patients have reported:
- More energy
- Less Fatigue
- Reduced pain and inflammation
- Better workouts
- Faster resolution of infections
- And more!
Regarding your healthcare, we’re here to be an honest and helpful voice of reason. We provide high-quality services tailored to you. We take the time to listen, assess, and conclude what tests we should run and what procedures will best keep you healthy.
Request a consult today so that you can feel better tomorrow!