by Cathy Clements, Nutritionist and Life Coach,
NASM CNC, CPT, FNS, WFS
Our immune systems can be thrown off in a variety of ways. A few of the most common ways are stress, change in sleep patterns, exercise, eating plan changes, attitude and loneliness.
These past few years have added stress to our lives; stress in the unknown, money, losing a job, changing a job and deaths of loved ones.
All or any of these issues affect the levels of “bad” stress in our bodies. Stress, in turn, affects our sleep, eating habits, exercise or lack of exercise and our attitudes.
There is good stress, though, from exercise! You don’t have to lift hundreds of pounds or run a marathon. You do have to get out of your chair or off your sofa and walk around. House cleaning is great workout — bending, stretching, lifting and walking with the added benefit of a clean house at the end.
Walking through your neighborhood or taking the stairs at work all are good ways to begin to lower stress through exercise.
Disrupted sleep adds to stress — you need to get a good night sleep. One way to help clear your head is to write down your bothersome thoughts on a pad of paper before going to bed. This helps relieve your mind, helping you relax and fall asleep.
Lack of sleep doesn’t just affect your immune system on its own, but it has been shown that people who don’t get enough sleep, tend to eat more and eat more “comfort” foods, some of which aren’t beneficial.
To build your immune system get out and see people you enjoy spending time with. Think positively! Eating “the rainbow,” all the colorful veggies and fruits, is the right track. Get seven to eight hours of sound sleep a night, and move!
If this isn’t enough for you there are supplements that can aid you in building your immune system making the other steps somewhat easier.