We also have to remember too that times of uncertainty allows for growth in other areas of our life.
Besides the hand washing and taking the appropriate precautions, let's not forget to maximize these three things that are under our control in times of chaos regarding our health:
Utilize the Most Powerful Drug Available to You. You have an abundant drug under the hood that's called your immune system. Whether you know it or not, your immune system can fight off more bugs, viruses and bacterias that any other drug in the market. No side effects either. In order to maximize the potential of your immune system, there are some things you can do to strengthen it so it can fight off even that nasty flu!
1.) Exercise is by far the best way to strengthen your immune system. Sitting at home in isolation without doing any exercise is possibly the worst thing for your immune system. All it takes is an amazon box that contains the virus (from someone that was exposed to the virus handling it) to arrive and your system may not have a fighting chance. Hundreds of studies have proven the effects of exercise on improving immune response.
- Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before.
- Exercise trains the body to better handle stress, allowing for the body to better handle stress hormones which decreases the load on the immune system.
- Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu or other illness.
- Recently, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found how just one session of moderate exercise can also act as an anti-inflammatory. One 20 minute workout session produced an anti-inflammatory cellular response. There was a decrease of 5% in the production of cytokines which is a protein that causes inflammation in the body.
2.) Update the Software. I'm not talking about the one in your iPhone, but the software in your brain. So many of us become victims of the negativity all around us. The brain is just as important as the body when it comes to living a less stressful life and maximizing our immune system.
Remember that continuous cortisol induced by stress lowers our immune system’s ability to ward off diseases.
A good first step is shifting to a more proactive mentality. Instead of letting the emails, social media, news dictate your emotions for the day, find those rituals that are going to help establish the right foundation for you to maximize your morning. This will ultimately lead to a much more successful (and productive) day. It will also help you deal with stress much better.
Easy rituals include reading and listening to self development or positive materials first thing in the morning. Meditation, prayer (with a focus on more gratitude than requests) or simply sitting in silence can do wonders as well. These things help the brain put the "brakes on" the upcoming thoughts that may come your way later in the day.
3.) Choose Clean Fuel. Vegetable oil, sugar, saturated fat, phosphoric acid in sodas causes a constant storm in our artery walls which tears the inner linings leading to plaque accumulation. The combination of too much fat and sugar creates havoc in our body. Even if we exercise regularly, our body usually burns only the sugar, but stores the fat for later. Intra-abdominal fat releases molecules called cytokines (yup, the ones mentioned earlier) that sets off inflammation all over the body. Obesity is essentially a state of inflammation.
Reversing that inflammation and stress in our bodies starts with the food we eat. Focus on adding more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. These include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds. They are filled with antioxidants that fight off free radicals.
These foods also equip the immune system with the essential nutrient dense foods that allow the body to fight off infections and diseases more efficiently. It also supplies our bodies with the nutrients needed to maximize function of our organs including our brains and digestive system.
Careful getting caught up in the hysteria. Take the appropriate measures to protect yourself from getting ill, but also remember to focus on the things that are under your control.
Cleaning up your nutrition, getting your daily exercise and strengthening the mindset will pay you dividends in so many aspects of life, including the mega boost that your immune system will receive.
Make it happen!