How to improve your immune health

So how do we pump up our immune system and give ourselves the best chance of fighting any future illness or indeed viruses.

I think a great way to look at this is to take a holistic view of yourself. (Very Yogic huh)

Photo Coju Gomes

So lets start with our diet, our digestive system is one of our most advanced systems in our body, it is designed to extract every once of nutrition from whatever we choose to eat, so lets imagine we ate a takeaway kebab followed by a chocolate bar and all washed down with and energy drink or beer or milkshake, you get the idea, how would you think your body will respond?

Your body is designed to run on healthy foods, foods packed with vitamins and minerals which it needs to regulate energy and hormone levels. The meal I have mentioned is rammed with salt, sugar and fats which in our previous generations have been much harder to come by, if you take it to the extreme there were not very many cavemen popping to the Kebab house for a chicken donner then a quick nip into Tescos express for chocolate bar and a high sugar caffeine drink!!!!! At least I am pretty sure they didn’t. We are simply not designed to run on the fuel we are using and we are compromising our immune system.

Photo Kike Vega

Now lets look at movement or exercise, we are becoming more and more sedentary, we binge watch on Netflix for hours on end or we sit at a desk viewing spreadsheets all day, these activities are actually very tiring for our brains so when we do finish we don’t feel like going for a walk or going to the gym.

What we need to do is become more mindful of our activities, if we do sit all day make sure you get moving after work even if you don’t feel like it, even better get moving outdoors in the fresh air, studies show that exposing yourself to the elements is beneficial for your brain and mental health. The main thing is to move, stretch, increase your breath rate, fire up your immunity and lower your stress level ( more of that next ).

Reducing your stress burden is a great way to keep your immune system in tip top condition. Stress has a very powerful impact on our immune health. Think of it this way; if you were on the African Savanna and you were about to be attacked by a lion, would your body use its energy resource in fighting the infection on the scraze from an earlier fall or would it mobilize your fight or flight response and direct your energy there to save your life? My guess is that it would do the latter. Your immune system needs a lot of energy to work, this ties in perfectly with you diet too.

Photo Tim Gouw

Now lets look at the situation as if your fight or flight response were continuously being activated. This activation comes from missed work deadlines, mortgage worries, worries about your kids education, worries about our environment, hang on a minute sounds like my life!!!!! Reducing and managing your stress response is a great way to strengthen your immune system, getting yourself back into your parasympathetic state your rest and digest. Try to have some time to just do nothing every day or even go for a run (see above double tick on your immune strengthening test sheet 🙂 or Yoga ( yes Yoga is amazing at reducing stress and boosting your immune health in one go) or even try meditation. Anything which relaxes you best.

Much love Evergreenyogi x

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