Immune Boosting Tips to make for a Healthy Holiday

sick_girl-574x409Its the sickliest time of the year but you can avoid being exposed to those nasty germs that live all around us.  Follow these steps to find a proactive approach to staying healthy this winter season.

Sunshine

Get Fresh Air & Sunshine

Get fresh air. Dress warmly and venture outdoors, even if only for a short, brisk walk. Both fresh air and sunshine (which we absorb Vitamin D through our skin from) invigorates our system and boosts natural defenses.  Studies in the United States and abroad increasingly point to vitamin D as one of the immune system’s strongest allies against disease.

Respect the Trifecta!

Sleep Well.  Eat Clean.  Exercise Regularly.  The balance of these three things are the foundation for our good health.  And the most important of these is SLEEP.  So when all else fails and your making late night trips to the mall to finish up on shopping or you need to stay up late to prep food for your family thats coming in town, STOP the CRAZINESS take a moment, think about this article you’re reading and remind yourself that sleep is your #1 priority and you MUST get 6-8hrs.  When you sleep your todo list seems shorter and your mother-in-law’s requests seem less taxing.  Your circumstances will not change once you prioritize sleep but you’ll find it easier to control how you react to whats going on around you.  Try to eat clean (reduce your sugar intake, produce, especially greens, fish and a lot of WATER) and exercise 3-5x’s per week to keep your body at its optimal health.  Once the trifecta is fulfilled its very hard for the bugs we’re exposed to to throw us off kilter.

Manage your Stress Level

Our bodies are well adapted to deal with short-term stress, but if we remain on orange alert for an extended period of time, we can grow vulnerable to some serious health problems.  Ongoing stress slows the body’s recovery process which will leave you more susceptible to infection, and worsen existing conditions like the common cold which can turn into the dreaded sinus infection and more.  Once you start sleeping this managing stress will seem easy to do but for the times you slip up and only catch 5 hours of shut eye rest assured there is hope for you!  Try these things:

    • Breathing: Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, Hold breath for a count of 7, now Exhale through your nose for 8 counts. Repeat 3 more times.  This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice.  Do it 2x’s a day for the best results.
    • Ask for help when you need it.  Its tough to be vulnerable but its better to be calm and happy than stressed and resentful after all the work you’ve done.  If you just moved ask your neighbor if you can pay her 15yr old boy to come help you unpack for a few hours and if you need to get out to run errands without the kids call a sitter.  You’ll get everything done AND sleep well with a little help here and there.
    • Take a 10min rest on this acupuncture mat which is good for anyone who wants to have more energy, less stress and increase their wellbeing. It also helps with gaining a better and more complete relaxation practice.

Immunity Builders that Really Work

Yes, they do. However, understand that these natural cold and flu remedies are not actually curing our bodies of anything. If you see a product claiming anything along those lines, that is a red flag. But what many of these products do is simply boost your immune system with vitamins and sometimes additional minerals or phytonutrients.  In order for them to work you must be proactive and use them BEFORE you become sick.  Here are my favorite products…

On Guard by doTerra

This is my favorite secret for keeping my 16month old son well during the winter season.  Its a Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil has been proven to kill harmful bacteria, mold and viruses.  Made from wild orange essential oil, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary OnGaurd smells soo good!  Like spiced orange.  This essential oil has been recognized for its strong ability to kill harmful bacteria, mold and viruses.  It can be used topically, diffused into the air or used to clean and purify household surfaces.  I use my son’s lotion as an emollient to mix with OnGaurd and rub it into his feet before bed for an immune boost while be rests and restores his body.  I also rub  a small amount into his hands before we head to the airport or daycare to help ward off germs.  This stuff is awesome!  I love it.

Emergen-C

I travel a lot with my family and we swear by this product and its ability to keep us well while we’re in germy airports or in and out of rest stops.  If we take it once in the morning and once at night we don’t get sick.  What EmergenC does is simply boost your immune system with vitamins and sometimes additional minerals or phytonutrients.  Studies have shown time and again that vitamins like C, the B-complex, and many other supplemental nutrients absolutely have immuno-strengthening properties.  Just remember, this is not a cure for colds so don’t wait to do this until after your first sign of a sniffly nose.  Instead be proactive, start now and it will help prevent you from getting sick!

Refrences: USDA, http://www.Prevention.com

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