Heading into the colder months you hear a lot of people say, “it’s cold and flu season”. The truth is that it’s not necessarily the colder weather and change of seasons that makes you sick. It’s actually due to a weakening of your immune system.
Have you ever wondered why one or two of your roommates get sick but you don’t? Or maybe vice versa? Why is it that in a classroom of 30 students, 5 can get sick, sneeze and cough all over the place, and still the other 25 students don’t catch a cold?
A new study by University of Michigan researchers may help put to rest the myth that you have to avoid germs in order to avoid getting sick, as when they infected 17 healthy people with the flu, only half of them got sick. The other half? They felt perfectly fine.
“Many people might conclude that if you are exposed to a virus and you don’t get sick, it’s because the virus didn’t stick or it was so weak, it just passed right through your system and your system didn’t notice. That’s not a correct notion … There is an active immune response which accounts for the resistance of certain people getting sick, and that response is just as active as the response we all know and hate, which is being sick with the sniffles, fever, coughing and sneezing. It’s just that the responses are different.”1
So how do you be one of the “lucky ones” that doesn’t catch a cold or flu?
Simple lifestyle changes.
Here are the top ways to boost your immune system and stay flu-free:
- Strong nervous system – Your nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) controls your whole body, so we need to first make sure that it is strong and functioning at 100%!! That’s where your chiropractor comes in to ensure your nervous system is clear and connected!
- Avoid processed sugar – Eating processed and added sugar will increase your insulin level, which is one of the fastest ways to get sick and also experience premature aging.
- Decrease stress – High stress increases inflammation in your body which drives all kinds of chronic diseases. Try to decrease your stress as much as possible by getting outside for a light walk everyday, getting a massage, or stretching.
- Stay active – It’s no secret that staying active is the key to staying healthy. In this study, staying active cut the risk of having a cold by 50 percent, and cut the severity of symptoms by 31% among those who did catch a cold.
- Optimize your vitamin D level – If you’re vitamin D deficient, and many are, your immune system will not activate to do its job. The best way to increase your vitamin D level is by sun exposure but that is difficult for most people in the fall and winter, so next best would be to use a safe tanning bed. Another way to increase your vitamin D level is by taking a supplement. Most adults require 8,000 units to reach therapeutic levels and some much more. Although that may sound too high to some, remember you can get up to 20,000 units through sun or tanning bed exposures.
In the event that you do catch a cold, the best thing you could do is support your immune system by still doing the above 5 tips. Your body is fighting to kill a bacteria or virus and you need to help it by providing it the healthy fuel it needs to fight strong. You can support your immune system further with these natural remedies.