With the cold and flu season coming, it is important to stay as healthy as possible. A number of ways exist which will naturally boost the immune system to help fight off these culprits. Consider these natural prevention methods.

1. Quality Sleep is Vital
Gaining quality sleep is vital to optimal health and will help the body fight viruses, flus, and colds. Individuals should aim for at least seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep each night. Otherwise, the immune system will become weakened.

Medical studies show individuals who have even three nights of lower-quality sleep suffer from a drop in immune system function by sixty percent (60%). People sleep much better by limiting light distractions (such as computers, TVs) in the sleeping area. Lowering the room temperature to around 65-68 degrees and moving the alarm clock at least three feet away from the bed is also beneficial.

2. Reduce Chronic Stress
Chronic stress creates havoc on the body, more than people realize. Mayo Clinic reminds us cortisol (the stress hormone) changes the system immune response. In other words, the more cortisol flowing through the body, the less responsive the immune system is to invaders (colds, viruses, flu).

Schedule routine stress relieving activities to maintain a healthy immune system. Many people enjoy taking a night out with friends, reading a nice book in a quiet atmosphere, taking time to turn up the music, or even enjoying a stress-free day with the family. Individuals who are faced with chronic stressors in life should seek professional assistance to manage and protect their health.

3. Keep Moving
Wintertime seems to create an “atmosphere of hibernation” for many people. During the cooler months, it is important to keep moving. Medical studies prove remaining active all year long significantly boosts the immune system. The American Journal of Medicine published a study which found regular moderate-intensity exercise also reduces a variety of infections.

4. Vitamin D Intake is Needed
As more time is spent inside, vitamin D deficiencies are common in the autumn and winter months. Insufficient intake for the body will weaken the immune system. Vitamin D can be provided in the diet by adding egg yolks, Swiss cheese, shiitake mushrooms, and fatty fish. For a natural alternative, consider taking a high-quality dietary supplement.

5. Kick the Sugar Habit
Research studies at Loma Linda University reveal sugar intake creates cellular changes in the body. The variations which occur in the cells suppress the immune system response. Sugar intake is also linked to flare-ups of inflammation within the body tissues. Eliminate white breads, white pastas, and sugared products from the diet to gain the most optimal health outcomes naturally.

Copyright © Dr. Don Colbert
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