Can you believe it’s already nearing the end of summer? (At least it is in the Midwest)
I hope you had a fantastic summer full of fun adventure and healthy outdoor activities.
As summer ends, school begins and fall is just around the corner. Cold and flu season also begins with the start of cold weather.
If you haven’t been already, start thinking of ways to boost and tune your immune system ahead of time in preparation for the seasonal change.
The stronger we are going into the cold and flu season, the less likely we are to get sick.
Our grandmothers were right: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So, what can you do to support your immune system. The answer to this question is likely a little different for everyone, but here are four things Gayle and I do to make sure we support a healthy immune system, plus a bonus item that we like to think of as our insurance policy.
- We optimize our diet by eating a whole-food plant-based diet, including both cooked and raw fresh organic fruits and vegetables. We like to include a rainbow of colors in our diet and try to choose seasonally fresh foods.
- We keep our vitamin D levels in a healthy range. We stay on top of our vitamin D serum level by testing it two times a year. We make sure we are supporting it with time in the sun and supplementing it if it falls below our optimum level.
- We manage our stress. A lesson learned from Gayle’s diagnosis in 2019 is that we know the importance of a good health strategy for stress management. Unmanaged long-term stress can lower your immune system’s ability to do its job.
- We exercise. We walk every day regardless of the weather. If it’s raining, hot, cold or snowing, you will find us walking our neighborhood. Walking gets you outside, breathing fresh air and moving. Find an exercise you enjoy and do it every day. Mixing up activities and doing different things is great, too. You can try yoga, walking, swimming, biking, gardening, dancing, roller blading, etc. Just find activities you enjoy and do as many as possible outside. If you can’t get outside, invest in a mini trampoline and jump for 15 minutes. It’s fun and gets your lymphatic system moving.
Bonus insurance policy for us. We also keep the following on hand: zinc, Sufficient C, elderberry syrup and B12. We use what we need when we feel a cold might be coming on. It just gives our immune system a little extra support. You should talk to your doctor, trusted health care provider or nutritionist about what supplements you should keep on hand for your unique physiology for times when it needs a little extra immune support.
Ask yourself, what steps should you be taking to fine-tune your immune system for the fall cold and flu season? Then, start with one of those steps and build on that.
Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.