Despite record-breaking temperatures along the East Coast this year, the winter cold and flu season is looming. Maybe you’ve already started slipping hand sanitizer into coat pockets and dodging coughs on the train.
But while you ward off illness from the environment, it’s important to remember to arm your strongest ally – your immune system. Staying hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet and washing your hands are essential to your defense strategy. But there are also many activities that offer surprising benefits to your immune system.
Here are six ways to help your reach your highest health:
Finally join that yoga or Zumba class. Anecdotally, we know that illness tends to ride the coattails of stress. But there’s a strong clinical relationship between increased stress and weakened immune systems – so activities like yoga that allow you to decompress should be part of your defense plan. Exercise can also boost your immune system by strengthening your heart, lungs and muscles and invigorating the cells that fight bacteria.
Don’t feel like bearing the cold to get to the gym? Turn your living room into a private studio with free exercise videos on YouTube.
Get a massage. Massages increase your circulation, which nourishes your cells with more oxygen and contribute to boosted immunity. Studies have also found that massages increase the number of lymphocytes in your system – the white blood cells that fight infections and protect against disease. And the feeling of stress leaving your body during a massage is very real; massages have shown to cause a decrease in levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Hit snooze. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is critical for keeping your immune system in fighting shape. Seven hours should be your minimum – a new study found that people who sleep for six hours or less are four times more likely to catch a cold. Consider this your excuse to indulge the urge to snooze for 30 more minutes.
Get nosey: Using an over-the-counter nasal saline solution not only keeps your nasal passages hydrated but actually helps you flush out the germs in the air. Hint—using nasal saline is key if you are traveling on an airplane, helping to combat germ-filled recirculated air.
Bring on the Vitamin D: Studies show that people with low levels of Vitamin D are more susceptible to catching colds and flu, as the vitamin is key in helping to regulate your immune system. We recommend taking a 1,000-IU supplement daily to help you power through cold and flu season and to keep you healthy all year-long.
EXPLORE IV THERAPY! Speaking of Vitamin D, when your body is battling a cold, it craves essential nutrients and vitamins to bolster its defenses. While many people resort to mega-dosing on Vitamin C orally, not much is actually absorbed and strong dosages can cause stomach pain. During intravenous therapy, vitamins are infused directly into the bloodstream, the fastest way to deliver critical fluids to the body. Our [ImmuneBoost] Drip blends Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Magnesium, and Zinc to ward off illness – and if you’ve already encountered a virus, it can decrease the severity and duration.