As we start this school year, many are concerned about being able to stay safe and healthy. Some of the things are not within our control. But many things are! The power of your health and immunity are ultimately up to you and the choices that you make. Here are my top 3 action steps that will help boost your natural immunity.
- Get started now – Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And just like you tell your students not to wait until the test is upon them to start studying, don’t wait until flu season is upon us to start preparing. Start now with implementing new practices and habits that are going to support you in staying healthy.
- Eat locally and seasonally – Eating seasonally is one of the best things that you can do for your immune system. For example, if we go into the winter without having first cooled off with end-of-summer fruits like apples, peaches and pears, the combination of accumulated summer heat and the dryness of winter can be devastating to our health. These fruits help to clean the intestinal tract and drive all the accumulated heat of summer out of the body, not allowing it to rise into our heads, drying us out and triggering mucus production and a susceptibility to colds and flu.
- Get your optimal amount of sleep daily – Sleep helps us thrive by contributing to a healthy immune system. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite. Everyone’s body is different, so there is no one magic number of required hours of sleep for optimal health. Experiment and figure out how many hours you need to wake up rested and ready for the day, and then make sure you’re getting that amount daily.
Bonus tip: Take your Vitamin D – Vitamin D is vital to facilitating normal immune system function. 20-30 minutes of sun exposure (over most of your body – think swimsuit) can create up to 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D in the body. The more melanin you have, the longer you need to expose your skin to the sun. Another alternative is to supplement with Vitamin D. Choose a high quality product from a reputable company, and have your Vitamin D blood levels tested 1-2 times per year. You can ask for the test at your next physical exam or use an at-home testing kit.
Mishra Keller is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Founder and Director of Nutrisults. If you are having trouble making enough time in your life to implement changes like the ones discussed here, just like you tell your students, ask for help! Go to community.nutrisults.com to join our online community that brings together women who want to value their health and prioritize their wellness to build the practices and habits that make self-care their #1 priority, so that we can experience less pain and less stress, get better sleep, feel great in our bodies and love who we see in the mirror. Get the guidance and support that you need to be successful at staying healthy this school year!