Arm Yourself Against Illness

‘Tis the season – the flu season is being heralded all around us. Are you prepared? And how can you arm yourself against illness, be it flu or cold or other form?

Though there’s no guaranteed way to avoid getting sick, supporting your immune system is what I consider the best way (even ahead of vaccines). Here are 7 ways to arm your immune system:

Decrease Stress

Prioritize taking time daily to enjoy relaxing activities such as meditation or listening to music, which reduce physical perception of stress. When experiencing stress, your body releases hormones that can tax your immune system and raise your susceptibility.

Get Out In The Sun

The sun does more for you than raise your Vitamin D levels – it improves your circadian rhythm and lifts your spirits. So get outside, even in the cold. If getting sufficient levels of UVA rays from the sun is difficult in the winter where you live, explore getting a Vitamin D lamp or lightbox. These simulate noontime sunshine and can provide an alternate source of “sunshine.”

Exercise (Or Move) Regularly

Getting 30 minutes of physical activity daily will increase your blood circulation and can help strengthen your immune system. Movement helps antibodies and white blood cells move around the body faster so they may detect invaders sooner. Walking outside combines sun and exercise – win!

Eat Purposefully

No single food will fend off a cold or flu but certain nutrients can help protect your body from bacteria, viruses and other germs. Consider these foods:

  • Garlic and ginger – antiviral and antibiotic
  • Wild-caught salmon & cold-water fish – Omega3
  • Pumpkin seeds, grass-fed meat – Zinc
  • Brazil nuts, broccoli, sardines – Selenium
  • Bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, kale, citrus (fruit not juice) – Vitamin C
  • Reduce sugar which depresses the immune system for hours after consumption

Boost Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is crucial for healthy immune function and maintaining a positive mood in the winter. Therefore, have your blood vitamin D level tested and supplement it if your level is below 30 nanograms per milliliter.

Drink More Water

Hydration is key to whole-body health. Every system in your body needs adequate water to function properly. It’s not just liquids your body needs – water or herbal teas provide hydration.

Prioritize Restful Sleep

Clinical study has demonstrated that several days of partial sleep deprivation has significant detrimental effects on immune function. Adults should try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while those with a compromised immune system should get even more.

You can’t expect your immune system to function well if you don’t support it with the right building blocks. A vaccination won’t cover you if you are skimping in the other areas. Rather, it will initially depress your immune system.

So take a cue from the airline safety briefing and put your oxygen mask on first.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

5 Ways to Ditch the Brain Fog

Ever have those days where you can’t seem to think straight? It can feel like your brain is actually foggy, and you can’t get to your thoughts. Fatigue often accompanies brain fog — including feeling easily irritated, forgetting things or having trouble learning new things, feeling unmotivated, anxious, lacking concentration and even insomnia. Frustrating, and the good news is you can do a lot to clear the fog in your head.

Here are a few tweaks you can start implementing: Read more

Arm Yourself to Fight Illness!

We all know someone who has been sick in the past month – perhaps you, a family member, or a friend. The media is touting this as an especially bad flu season. What should you do to protect yourself?

Despite all the encouragement to get the flu shot, I do not recommend that as your primary strategy. The flu shot can actually hinder your immune system, as it comes with a nasty dose of mercury that is dangerous to your body. Read more

Do You Sleep Like a Baby?

By now you know that sleep is NOT overrated. High-quality sleep is vital for both healing and sustained wellness. Though the body seems inactive during sleep, it is actually quite busy on the inside.

During the night, we restock our supply of hormones, process toxins, repair damaged tissue, general vital white blood cells, eliminate the effects of stress, and process heavy emotions. You might even say that you get more done during the night than during the day. Read more

ZZZ’s Are So Very Important

It is reported that 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping. Are you one of them?

Sleep troubles come in many varieties. Do you have trouble shutting down the day’s activities, or actually falling asleep? Do you go to sleep easily but wake often during the night? Does your significant other snore? If you find it hard to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, you are likely not sleeping well, and it is decreasing your brain function and affecting your body. Read more

Simple Truths for Wellness

Keep It SimpleAs January comes to a close, how would you evaluate this first month of 2017? Were you, like so many others, working to improve your health by losing weight and changing your food habits? How is that going? Don’t beat yourself up. Let’s regroup and simplify.

I have written frequently about food choices and I’m not going to rehash that subject here. What I do want to emphasize is what I call eating hygiene – as simple as HOW you eat. Read more