The entry of fall brings more time indoors and more opportunities for our bodies to struggle with feeling our best. Living well is learning action rather than reaction. It’s about the immune-boosting habits, the small daily choices, that we make over and over and over again and how those choices add up to make a vast difference in our lives.
Making purposeful decisions over time can greatly impact our health more than slapping a band aid on problems that arise. I took that approach for many years, especially during my early years as a mom, when I struggled with an autoimmune issue. I truly wasn’t aware and educated on how I could be supporting my body.
I’d like to share some of my immune-boosting habits with you that have definitely helped our family experience the greatest health we’ve ever had. Remember, an ounce of prevention will carry you far!
Your immune system will greatly appreciate you getting more rest rather than less. Our bodies recover and restore during our sleep, did you know that? If you miss that restoration, your body is working so much harder to just survive.
Thankfully, I have incorporated a few things over the past years that have helped me get deep, quality sleep. My first step in a great night’s sleep is using my essential oils—game changer!!! They can help calm the mind and body which then prepares you for a restful slumber. These are my go-to oils to put in my diffuser or on the bottoms of my feet: Lavender, Tranquil, Peace and Calming, Stress Away, and Cedarwood. Not only do I use them, my hubby uses them and my ten-year-old uses them. Perfect for the entire family—even our dogs!
Another piece to my sleep regimen is melatonin. I do not use this every night, but it is a game changer for good, solid sleep. Melatonin is a hormone your brain makes naturally to control your sleep cycle. I have learned that as you age, your body reduces its own production of melatonin. I alternate between a supplement that Young Living carries, called ImmuPro which has melatonin, as well as using Nature’s Sunshine I purchase on Amazon.
As far as immune-boosting habits go, this is one to always practice!
Eat real food
Did you know that eating or drinking sugar curbs your body’s immune response cells that are supposed to attack all the invaders like bacteria and viruses? Processed food is often “dead” food. It contains too few vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), which help prevent cellular damage. They are also high in trans fats, which end up in a person’s arteries and liver, where they generate damaging free radicals. There is more I can add here…but need I go on?? Nourish your body with real, vibrant, living food that will flood your system with real nutrients! Your body knows what to do with those nutrients, efficiently and effectively routing them where they are needed to protect you and make you strong.
Fresh organic greens, grass-fed meats, organic vegetables and fruit should really be the bulk of your daily menu. Ditching dairy has also shown to help our bodies, as dairy creates inflammation in the body, and your body has to work harder to maintain a good state of heath and it often using a lot of energy to combat that inflammation from dairy and also from excessive grains and sugar.
Move your body
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living! Moving our body is wonderful for our mental and emotional health as well as physical health. Being consistent at moving your body will help your immune system stay strong! Flush out those free radicals and feel your BEST! Your immune system receives a serious boost from regular exercise, making your ability to fight infection and disease at the age of 80 the same as someone half, or even a quarter, of your age. Regular exercise promotes good circulation, allowing the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body and do its job more efficiently.
Stress weakens the immune system and causes your body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Occasional stress is not as detrimental as long, extended periods of stress, which actually increase that cortisol and over time will cause more inflammation in your body. As someone who has recovered from depression, I need to be keenly aware of my stress levels. Exercise, which I have already mentioned above, helps me manage stress. I also use essential oils to help stress, my racing heart, feelings of hopelessness, and more. You can read more on using essential oils to support your emotions and help combat stress. They are an amazing addition to my routine.
Using a humidifier is perhaps an unexpected tip on my immune-boosting habits list. But here’s an important piece of information you should know. A recent study found that raising indoor humidity levels to at least 43% had a dramatic effect on approximately 85% of airborne viruses, rendering them virtually ineffective. This is incredible. When we begin to remain indoors more, during the fall and winter months, our furnaces are on, creating more dry and stale air, which is a perfect place for viruses to breed. No thanks!
Moisture has the ability to prevent the movement of germs, as they combine with this moisture and simply drop. This happens because the airborne particles are now too heavy to float around in the air. In turn, this helps prevent the spread of many illnesses, including influenza. This is precisely why one of the main benefits of a humidifier is increasing the overall humidity levels in a room or in a home. We currently have two humidifiers in our home and always run them September through April.
Vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses. However, we have become so conditioned to think the sun is bad and therefore we shouldn’t be outside in it without sunscreen that we have become severely depleted of vitamin D3 that comes from the sun. We can’t absorb D3 with sunblock on our skin! And if you think about it, the majority of us work inside compared to our ancestors who worked mostly outside. Make sure you get outside every day, even if it’s rainy or cloudy to get some vitamin D3 from natural sources. I have also been supplementing my vitamin D3 for myself and my family with a Young Living vitamin D, as well as this liquid vitamin D3 by Natural Health Goodies. When you are on the verge of not feeling well, additional vitamin D3 will help your body.
There you have it. Six simple immune-boosting habits you can implement now. Hopefully you are already incorporating a few of these so adding a few more will be easier than you think!