December is certainly flu season, and it can seem like everyone around you is coming down with a cold, stuffy nose, fever, or cough. It’s almost impossible to stay away from it completely.
So what’s a girl boss to do? Since you cannot put yourself in a sterile bubble to keep all the floating germs away, what you can do is boost your immune system so that your body can fight it easily. So in this blog, I’ve got a list of tips to keeping you healthy even in the germ pool.
Your immune system defends you from the microbes that cause diseases. It is the key to your resilience, and your ability to fend off the onslaught of germs you run into every single day. So how can we make that immune system even stronger during the holidays, when we need our health to be in tip top shape?
So let’s dive in:
1. The biggest culprit to sabotage your immune system is stress. When you feel stress, your body releases the hormone Cortisol. If that hormone is running rampant in your body at elevated levels and for a long period of time, then your immune system will be compromised. So my first tip is to MANAGE YOUR STRESS! Now I know you are probably rolling your eyes my girl bosses, because that seems sort of impossible right? But at least try adding some healthy habits to drop stress levels. For example, have you tried meditating? Even 5 minutes a day has an astounding effect on your stress level. This is great for the mind and body.
2. Eat healthy. Your body needs the nutrients to supply your immune system. To counteract viruses, your intake of fruits and vegetables should be increased. There is truth to the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Try to eliminate or at least minimize the processed foods that are loaded with preservatives and chemicals. These are like poison to your immune system.
Now I’m going to let you in on a little well-kept secret. My ultimate go-to when I need to boost my immune system is homemade bone broth. This is like the elixir for health. Bone broth is made with all the bones from a chicken, cooked in a slow cooker for 24 hours. The bones literally dissolve and what you get is a healthy concoction that tastes delish! I will include the link to the recipe at the end of the blog. I have to give the credit to my man, Jeff, because he has perfected this!
3. Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. We are typically sleep deprived and we run on empty as we try to get everything done. But your body needs sleep to be in optimal immune shape. So don’t burn the candle on both ends, and try to limit all the excessive partying at this time of year.
4. Sunshine! A little bit of sunshine daily (about 15 minutes) does wonders to trigger your body’s production of Vitamin D.
5. I know you probably don’t want to hear this one…but yes, regular exercise aids your immune system in multiple ways. Exercise bumps up your circulation which helps white blood cells to move through your body and are more easily alerted to pathogens.
Studies show that people who include regular exercise into their lifestyle take fewer sick days (approximately 50% less) than people who have a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise also helps to flush out bacteria from the lungs. It has also been shown that the temporary boost in body temperature during exercise helps our bodies fight infections in a way similar to how a fever works when we are sick.
And lastly, we LOVE the release of endorphins. You know the ones that make us feel better, promote a good mood, and act like super-hero natural painkillers.
I will note that if the exercise is too intense, like an athlete’s hard-core training, this can actually weaken the immune system. Over training can have a negative impact on the immune system, so regular exercise in moderation is the ticket!
Now you are equipped with the tools to boost immunity. Put them to use, and you will enjoy a healthier holiday season and be in tip-top shape when you leap into the New Year!