Studies have shown a link between the nervous system and the immune system, and chiropractic should be a part of your health routine!! However, there are some other natural methods you can employ to boost your immune system during the colder months and hopefully stave off a cold or the flu.
1.Get that sleep:
Quality sleep is critical for good health! While the right amount of sleep for each person varies, aim for at least seven hours of high quality sleep each night. When you pull late nights or toss and turn on a regular basis, you reduce your body’s ability to fight sickness. In fact, studies have revealed that three nights of low quality sleep can drop your immune system function by 60 percent. Create an optimal sleeping environment: put your phone or alarm clock at least 3 feet away from your body, try to keep those kiddos out of the room and set the nighttime temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Kick the stress:
Sing aloud to a blasting radio, do some yoga or schedule an evening out with friends—whatever you do to relieve stress! Chronic stress is just plain bad for your body—and that includes your immune system. The Mayo Clinic states that the stress hormone, cortisol, changes immune system responses for the worse. Make sure you are regularly relieving stress; if you’re dealing with chronic stress, seek out further recommendations from your primary care or us at Straight Up Chiropractic.
3. Move your body:
The cold and cozy months of the year might inspire you to curl up and hibernate, but studies show that remaining active can prevent you from being under the weather. In 2006, The American Journal of Medicine published a study that found that moderate-intensity exercise on a regular basis resulted in fewer upper respiratory tract infections and other infections in participants. Take a brisk walk, hit the gym or find a regimen of at-home exercises to do. The extra time and effort now will help prevent time wasted on the couch with a pile of tissues!
4. The magic of Vitamin D:
Please pay attention to your vitamin D intake! If you live here in the NW and are not supplementing, chances are, you are deficient. Research has shown a link between weakened immune response and vitamin D deficiencies. There are a few foods that have a good amount D in them. Egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms and whole milk. Most of the time this isn’t enough and either doing light therapy or using a trusted supplement is easier and more effective.
5. Take it easy with the sugar:
Sugar has been catching a lot of flak lately, but there are good reasons and one of them is immune suppression. Four decades ago, a study was published by researchers from Loma Linda University, which demonstrated a change in the white blood cells’ ability to kill germs after participants consumed a large amount of sugar, so this information isn’t new. In addition, further research links sugar to inflammation, and this includes white breads and pastas which quickly break down into sugar in the body. Maybe there’s a reason for those post holiday colds.