This year’s cold and flu season is off to an early and powerful start with a strain that has already prompted state officials in Massachusetts to declare a public health emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported at the end of December that there were already 2,961 cases of diagnosed influenza. According to flu.gov, symptoms include:
- Fever of 100oF or higher or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
- Cough and/or sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
Keep in mind that the flu isn’t the only beast running more rampant than some of our noses. Colds, coughs, you name it, seem to make their way onto every mode of public transportation and into everyone’s workplace. Here’s our simple list of how to naturally and easily boost your immune system to better tackle the flu season ahead of us.
Here at SpaFinder Wellness, we all know that antioxidants are a huge part of skin care and detox, but they’re also an integral part of supporting a healthy immune system since their primary function is to fight free radicals. While many of us are thinking about that nice glass of red wine at night, that cabernet is not going to cut it; up the ante on your fruit and veggie intake to get a higher amount of ORAC units in your diet (the fancy measurement for antioxidants!). Make it a priority to get at least the recommended 5 servings a day.Try these health-boosting smoothies and juices, which are a great way to incorporate delicious nutrients into your daily diet.
And, while so many us of view “fat” as a dirty word, a diet rich in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, is necessary to help our bodies fight off disease. Wild salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and even lowers LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein a.k.a. the bad cholesterol that can lead to heart attacks). Not a fan of fish? Try omega-3 fish oil supplements!
Fitness isn’t just for firming your backside, it’s also a hugely important part of a healthy lifestyle (and can benefit your skin!). Getting in at least 30 minutes of cardio a day helps get our blood pumping, which, in turn, allows our white blood cells to target any abnormalities sooner than if we sat around all day. Not only does a brisk walk a day help us physically but the mental benefits are there as well! Stress is a known inhibitor to our immune system and leaves us open to picking up illnesses. A jog before or after work, a nice yoga session, or any other type of physical release helps to decrease our stress levels and jumpstart our immune systems.
Check out these three simple yoga poses that actually help fight the symptoms of a common cold! And if yoga’s not your thing, try these 10 simple equipment-free exercises you can do anywhere.
Let’s be honest here. How many of us consistently get the necessary eight hours a day of blissful, restful sleep? Anyone? Anyone? The fact is sleep is a power player when it comes to wellbeing and physical health. “Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy,” the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says. “This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds.”
Make a pact to set a regular bedtime, especially during flu season when your body needs all the help it can get. Also if you’re having trouble sleeping, try creating a bedtime ritual which will help you calm down; listen to music, reduce the amount of light, unplug from the internet, take a bath with lavender oil, anything to get that heart rate down, your mind clear, and your body finding Zen in zzz’s.
While these steps will certainly help you boost your immune system we can’t say that they will protect you from the virus 100 percent. If you are concerned or are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, please see your physician.
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