Are you one of many suffering from a  cold or flu bug going around this time of year.
Building your immune system is key to protect yourself from illness. There are times when we get sick, no matter what we do. However, there are some streps we can take to maximize our potential to be healthy. Here are 10 strategies to help you ward off the cold and flu viruses going around.

  1. Sleep… 7 – 9 hours/night. . Sleep deprivation makes us more suseptable to stress and depresses our immune system which increases inflammation in our body. Chronic sleep deprivation increases our risk for illness. The quantity sleep is less important that the quality of sleep. Restfull sleep increases our bodies ability to repair, heal and flourish.  If you have interupted sleep, talk to a heath practitioner at your health food store or try a calming breathing. Some of my favourite techniques are Andrew Weils; The stimulating breath, The 4 -7-8  Exercise & Breath Counting. I also have good results with the somatic exercises, Clock Work.
  2. Wash your hands, wash your hands and … wash your hands. The research says a little exposure to bad bugs strengthen our immune system but sensible washing and avoidence of big bug situations can protect us. Keep your fingers away from your face, especially while out shopping where we are exposed to sooo many people and germs. When you get home for the day, wash your hands as soon as you go into the house before you contaminate objects in your house.
  3. Drink lots of liquids. In addition to many other health benefits research says that water and other liquids help draw out toxins and keep us hydrated which in turn allows our blood to flow efficiently through our bodies. This allows our nutrients to be  effectiviely absorbed and transported to the appropriate parts of our body increasing our ability to keep bad bacteria at bay. This does not need to be water, many liquids will have benefits. Herbal teas, vegetables with a high water content such as zucchini, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, spinach. Fruits such as apples and oranges.  Bone broth from chicken, turkey and beef have many healing properties. Flavoured water. Use lemons, limes or a small amount of good quality juice.
  4. Consume Friendly Bacteria. Our bodies need good bacteria to out compete bad “bugs” and improve immune function. You can eat good bacteria in the form of good quality plain yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Probiotic supplements are available at natural food stores.
  5. Believe … yourself well. The body hears everything you are saying. If you believe you are getting sick … guess what your cells hear. When you hear that someone in your proximity is unwell, immediatly create thoughts of wellness for yourself. “I am heathy”.
  6. Take time to Breathe; long term stress taxes the immune system. Down time to breathe helps the body rejuvinate and give you more energy to take on the rest of the day. Maybe theres something to be said for the Mexican siesta.  Take a few minutes each day to quiete your body and mind to breathe… just breathe : )
  7. Exercise daily if you can. Even if it is just a 20 min. walk. Exercise makes us sweat, draws out toxins and reduces stress. Walking in green space increases the stress releiving benefits.
  8. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, for all the nutrients your immune system needs. This time of year it is easy to skip meals and get run down. Make you and your health a priority to refuel with fresh, whole foods to support your health.
  9. Supplements can be helpful if you are low in certain element but that is a personal situation. I recommend that you see your health practitioner to help you identify what your body needs.
  10. Be Happy : ) Happiness and good health go hand-in-hand.  Scientific studies have been finding that happiness can make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer. Being happy reduces stress & inflammation. Decide to “Be Happy” and beilieve that you can. You are worth it! : )