We’ve all been there, you wake up in the morning and there it is, that tickle in your throat, a twinge in your head, and a stuffy nose. It’s no surprise that people typically tend to get sick more frequently during the chilly winter months than they do in the heat of summer. The reality is that throughout the fall and winter we’re going to come in contact with people suffering from colds or viruses on a regular basis. But, did you know that whether or not you express those symptoms is directly dependent on the state of your immune system?
Today we’re going to delve into a few important factors that play into the functioning of your immune system and outline some ways in which you can keep the cold and flu season at bay.
#1 – Get Enough Rest
There’s a reason “get some rest” is one of the first things people say when we get sick. Failing to get consistent sleep can put extra stress on your immune system. Once your immune system is stressed, a body that was once capable of fighting off a cold no longer has the full effect of that defense mechanism. That means a lack of sleep can directly equal your body being more susceptible to taking up any bacteria or viruses you may be exposed to. Therefore, During the time of year when we are most often exposed to colds and viruses within confined spaces, it’s imperative that we get enough quality sleep.
#2 – Make Time to Exercise
We’re pretty much all aware of the amazing benefits that regular exercise provides. It decreases stress, improves blood sugar, improves blood flow, lowers resting blood pressure, etc. But, did you know that exercise can also have an effect on your immune system?
One reason for this is that regular exercise increases the number of white blood cells (the immune system cells that fight disease.) With more of these cells circulating through your system, there is a higher chance of them being able to target colds and viruses and kill them before they have the chance to take hold. The key here is to be regular and consistent. This will help to give you a better chance of fighting off any bugs that you are exposed to on a daily basis.
Regular exercise could mean anything from going for a run to taking a walk, lifting weights to doing yoga, or really any form of regular physical activity that you enjoy. Additionally, exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on your mental state, and a positive frame of mind can also have a positive effect on your immune system.
#3 – Be Mindful of Your Diet
The old colloquialism “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may not be entirely true, but there is truth in how your diet impacts your immune system. Eating more fruits and vegetables can increase your antioxidants which can improve your body’s ability to fight off infection. It is especially important to get more Vitamin C into your system when you feel a cold coming on or if you are currently fighting one off. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can be found in many fruits as well as taken as a supplement.
Hydration is another factor in optimal immune system functioning. Approximately 60% of your body is composed of water so if you are chronically dehydrated it puts a lot of stress on your entire system. Drinking up to 8 glasses of water a day can help your body to eliminate toxins and waste, making your immune system’s job easier by reducing the presence of existing toxins.
Lastly, the consumption of excess sugar is detrimental to your immune system as well as other systems within your body. Therefore decreasing your sugar consumption can be beneficial for not only your immune system but your overall health.
#4 – Soak up Some Sun
Vitamin D is critical for your immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, you can help strengthen it. Here in the Four Corners area, we are lucky enough to get plenty of warm sunny days even in the depths of winter. Direct sunlight can help your body to synthesize additional Vitamin D, so whenever possible take the time to soak up a bit of extra sunshine this season.
#5 Get Your Nervous System Checked
Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. It may come as a surprise to you, but getting your nervous system checked is the most important factor there is in you being able to fight off whatever colds or viruses you come in contact with. That’s because the nervous system and the immune system are incredibly intertwined. Your body relies on the spinal cord to relay messages from the brain to every organ and system in your body, including your immune system.
A spinal misalignment can interfere with the proper functioning of the central nervous system which can, in turn, interfere with the immune system. This is why it is so important to have proper spinal alignment in order to have a strong immune system. When your nervous system is balanced your body has the capacity to operate to its fullest infection-fighting potential.
It’s important to rest well, eat properly, exercise regularly, get some sun, and do the best you can for your body, but you also have to ensure your body can do its best for you. Have your spinal alignment checked to make sure your immune system has the best chance to fight off the coming season. Our patients visit our Durango office from all over the Four Corners region, including, Bayfield, Ignacio, Mancos, Cortez, Aztec, and Farmington. Contact us today by dropping by 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or click the link below to schedule a free evaluation.
We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.