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6 Ways to Kick the Sick

sick person laying down looking at a thermometerAs the leaves change color and temperatures dip, it’s also that time of year when a big myth starts to circulate again: “When it gets cold out, I get sick.” Just because you go from a warm house to a cold car doesn’t mean you will catch a cold or the flu.

How Stress Can Tax the Immune System

Why you get sick is because your immune system isn’t functioning optimally. Stress is often the culprit. Many chemical, physical or emotional stressors can contribute to how your immune system functions. Add in those back-to-school germs your kids bring home, and it’s no wonder many people find themselves coming down with a cold.

The good news is that by fortifying the immune system or what we like to say “improving the terrain (the body),” your body can withstand the bevvy of bugs circulating out there.

In our hand-sanitizing society, particularly these days, we’re so focused on treating the germ and not working to improve the terrain. Dr. Mike has the following tips that can help kids and adults boost their immune systems.

1. Add more movement to your day.

You don’t have to be a die-hard CrossFitter, distance runner or power-lifter to crank up your immune system. The key is regular movement. Many people underestimate the benefits of taking a brisk walk. Consider going for a 20-minute walk after lunch or dinner. Doing so can boost your metabolism and kick your body into a fat-burning state. So even when the temperatures get cooler, it’s important to maintain some form of exercise routine.

2. Get enough solid sleep.

From work-related stress to getting sucked into our digital devices, it’s no wonder so many people can’t power down and get a good night’s sleep. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep, and kids need 8-10. Sleep provides the body with vital immune system support, so don’t skimp on those Zzzzs.

It’s a good idea to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each day. Avoid caffeine at least 6-8 hours before bedtime. Perhaps the biggest one: avoid technology for 1-2 hours before bedtime. That’s because the blue light from our digital devices stimulates the brain, so you’ll feel alert versus relaxed.

3. Subtract screen time.

From parents staring at their computer screen for hours at work to kids doing research at school or home on their tablets, people spend more time than ever on their tech tools.

There’s substantial research that shows that all this time has a negative impact on growth and development of the brain, as it’s always being stimulated. The brain is getting a constant dopamine release. Increased stress in your neurology will have a negative impact on your immune function.

Consider setting limits on your child’s screen time. And encourage them to do puzzles, create art, color pictures, or play a board that gives them a break from all that tech time.

4. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Did you know that the act of being grateful is good for you? It helps alleviate depression and stress. Consider taking time each day to write down or express several things you’re grateful for. Maybe you and your family can go around the dinner table and say what you’re thankful for that day. Or make it a bedtime ritual to ask your children what they were grateful for that particular day.

5. Supplement smart.

Naturally, the best way to get all the nutrients your body needs is by eating a whole foods based diet at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Avoid processed foods and those high in sugar specifically. When it comes to supplements, here are the ones that Dr. Mike recommends:

  • Vitamin C (aim to get from whole foods versus synthetic vitamin form)
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zinc
  • Elderberry
  • Echinacea (avoid if you or your child has hay fever)
  • Propolis (comes from honeybees)

Taking a tablespoon of local honey each day is also a good idea, as honey is great for one’s health and can even help with allergies as it is known to collect the local pollen within the honey.

6. Make sneaky smoothies

One of the easiest ways to get powerful nutrients into your kids is through a smoothie. By adding fresh or frozen fruit to greens powder or a handful of kale or spinach, you can camouflage the flavor so your kids will just be tasting the fruit—but reaping the health benefits!

Of course, we always recommend making chiropractic care an important part of your health and wellness repertoire. When your nervous system is tuned up your immune system can perform optimally!


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