All day, you're bombarded with ads on how to strengthen your immune system once it's already too late. Flu season is here, so let's talk about ways to prevent a few weeks of bed rest.
At Western Botanicals, we genuinely believe that your health is something you have control over. And you don't have to do it alone.
Below are eight unexpected ways you may be sabotaging your immune system and what to do instead.
Having a mind filled with pessimistic thoughts may adversely affect your immunity. It is reported that people with a positive thought process have displayed a more robust immune system than those who are always doubtful and cynical.
This does not mean that you should only focus on the sunny side and ignore the hardships that come your way. You can, however, take small steps towards changing your mindset.
- Be flexible and open to uncertainty in life. Do not panic if something unexpected happens that demands a change in plans.
- Talk about the things you are grateful for and the things you look forward to in life.
- Think about people or instances that bring happiness to you. Let them know how special they are!
2. Prolonged Sitting
The average person spends up to 8 to 9 hours a day sitting in one place. A few examples are watching tv, playing video games, or like most people today, working from home.
Sitting for long hours will not only harm your immune system but can lead to other health problems such as obesity or bad posture. This may put your life at risk as it can negatively affect the healthy functioning of your immune system.
- Take breaks at regular intervals if you find yourself sitting for too long. While working on a computer, you can stand up or do squats after every two hours.
- Avoid sitting and doing something that can also be done while standing. For instance, if you're on a call, why not stand or walk while talking?
- Take out time from your busy schedule to exercise, do yoga, or go on a walk daily.
3. Not Using Supplements
Introducing supplements in your diet boosts the immune system effectively. You need to select and consume effective immune-boosting supplements for a healthy lifestyle.
You cannot solely rely on packaged supplements; however, you can use them to support your immunity.
Here are a few supplement options that are great for supporting a healthy immune system:
• Elderberry supplements
• Vitamin C
• Immunity Support
4. Fear – Flight or Fight Response
Living with fear is a dark rabbit hole we all want to avoid. If you get scared or shocked quickly, then this may hamper your health in some ways. Fear signals danger to the body, which produces a sudden shockwave throughout the body that may typically shake up one's immune system.
Worse, it may shut down non-essential survival functions of the body, such as digestion. It may increase your heart rate, blood flow, and cortisol- the stress hormone.
- Meditate to calm your body and mind to avoid stressing out on unnecessary fear.
- Retain your body by taking deep breaths.
- Utilize the crocodile pose and breath 15 times in that position to support body relaxation.
- Crocodile Pose
Lie down with your face towards the ground. Fold your arms and draw your forearms inwards so that your chest is a little above the ground. Keep your legs in a comfortable position.
Close your eyes and relax your abdomen, shoulder, and legs. Let your eyes and jaw lose, then focus on inhaling and exhaling air in a way that you feel your body being cleansed.
Breath through your nose and observe the qualities of your breath. Is it continuous? Is it effortless? Are the inhales and exhales of the same length?
The feeling of being alone or incomplete may affect a person's mental health that may adversely affect the immune system. Eliminating loneliness boosts the immune system, shocking? Research has proved this statement to be true.
- Try interacting with your loved ones through facetime, skype, video calls, texts, etc.
- If you live alone and without a community, you can always use social media to make new friends. (Of course, in a safe environment)
- Join online groups or start a group of your own to interact with different people or converse with new friends.
6. Too Much Alcohol
Let's face it, sometimes that indulgent Pina Colada can turn into four. Constant alcohol use can fail to develop your immune system. Alcohol consumption itself is not healthy, it is advisable not to overconsume this substance, and it can affect your body negatively in multiple ways.
- Alcohol consumption should be avoided altogether. Did you know October is Sober October? Join Facebook groups, let your family and friends know that you're trying something new and need their support.
- Replace alcohol with other less harmful beverages. Alternatives like green tea, coconut water, kombucha, or fresh juices should be considered (alcoholic kombucha omitted).
- Make a healthy mocktail or smoothie for yourself when thirsty.
- Combine vegetable juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, turmeric, celery salt, olive oil, and horseradish in a glass and mix it with the help of a mixture or a blender.
- Add ice cubes for it to be cold.
- Top it off with some black pepper, a wedge of lime, or any other garnish of your choice.
- Your mocktail is ready.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for people to stay healthy. Sometimes that morning and afternoon espresso can dehydrate your body. It is essential to set hydration goals as it boosts the immune system of people effortlessly.
- Install filters in tap water so that clean water is readily available for you.
- Download reminder apps that can remind you to drink water and keep track of your water consumption goals.
- Add slices of lemon, cucumbers, or oranges in your water as it can act as a detox that can help you get rid of toxins within your body.
- It's recommended to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. While this isn't easy, you can set targets according to this rule.
Too much sitting and too much exercising, both extremes can impair the immune system at some point. You do not have to overexert yourself or overtrain in a way that leads to body swelling and extreme fatigue.
Overtraining will decrease your strength and performance, rendering your efforts useless. Yes, it is good to exercise daily, but too much exercise can negatively impact the immune system.
- Avoid intense workout regimes for long hours. Take out time to do some gentle yoga or stretching in between to relax your body.
- Schedule more walks and jogs in your workout schedules. A balanced training process will benefit the immune system.
- Try to go for long walks in nature as it will enhance your health to a great extent.
- Try different restorative postures, such as the one where your legs are up the wall.
- Roll out a towel in a 3 to 4 inches diameter.
- Sit on the ground with one hip against the wall.
- Roll onto your back while pushing your legs up the wall.
- Bend your knees, place your feet high on the wall, lift your hips, and set the rolled-up towel under your pelvis area.
- Extend your legs up the wall and relax in that posture.
- Take deep breaths for 3 to 5 minutes in the same pose.