Seasonal Tips to Support Your Immune System- Part III

Making Yourself Part of the Equation

More and more studies are documenting the link between stress and illness.  As we move towards cold and flu season, it is the perfect time to find ways to reduce stress and add in self-care. Here are my top KrantzWellness lifestyle tips:

STRESS

Chronic stress can increase cortisol levels which can impact your immune system.  Everyone has some level of stress in their lives, but finding ways to reduce your stress level can be a powerful tool to improve your health.  I suggest taking an inventory of your own stress level and then consider adding in a stress management tool.   What works will vary for each person, but here are a few ideas to consider: exercise, mediation, breathing exercises, spending time outside or plans with friends.

ACTIVITY AND REST CYCLES

To support optimum health, create cycles of activity and rest during the day.  Even a few minutes of down time between activities can recharge your system. Burning the candle at both ends can negatively impact your ability to fight colds and flu and can deplete your reserves.

EXERCISE

Regular, moderate exercise has been shown to strengthen your immune system.  It can improve circulation, support your respiratory system, lower stress levels, support regular sleep cycles and enhance your immune function.  On the other hand, intense over-training has been shown to lower your immunity.  Find an exercise you enjoy doing, develop a regular schedule and don’t over-train.   If the temperature allows, being outside has the added benefit of fresh air.

SLEEP

Lack of regular sleep can reduce your ability to fight infections and stay healthy.    Our society is overstimulated and sleep difficulties are very common.  Some tips to support a healthy sleep pattern include; limiting screen time for a few hours before bed, getting regular exercise during the day, avoid caffeine and sugar (especially late in the day), dimming lights for an hour before going to sleep, and trying to develop a regular sleep schedule.

CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

Reducing chemical exposure can have a significant impact on your health.  It is impossible to completely eliminate chemicals from your life, but finding ways to reduce exposure can support your immune system. Consider gaining knowledge about the water and air quality in your home, the ingredients in your cleaning products and body care products and the pesticide levels in your food.  It’s not about the need for extreme changes, but rather small changes that add up and support your health.

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