Fortify Your Immunity So Viruses & More Pass You By
Lifestyle Choices to Boost Immunity Year-Round
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While good hygiene such as frequent hand washing can help keep viruses (including coronavirus, the flu, the common cold and more) out of your body, there is another important line of defense you should fortify: your immune system. Should a virus manage to find its way in, the mission of the immune system is to overwhelm and eliminate the invader. If your immune system is compromised, it will not be able to properly fight off the virus. Recent research has confirmed that it is how our immune system responds, not the virus itself that causes symptoms.
If your immune cells are too busy battling against your poor health habits, they won't be able to serve you effectively when a virus is on the loose. Luckily, there are a number of lifestyle choices you can implement to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape.
A. Reduce stress. Hundreds of studies have shown that reducing stress is at the top of the list for boosting immunity. Chronic stressors have been proven to affect the immune response, making the person under stress prone to medical illness, especially viral infections such as cornonavirus, colds, and the influenza virus (the flu). Substances secreted by the body as a result of such stress, such as cortisol, negatively impact the ability of the immune system to do its job. If you can't immediately do away with the sources of chronic stress in your life, learn to relax. There's evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins -- leaders in the immune system response against coronavirus, cold and flu viruses — increase in the bloodstream. To read more about the major havoc that unmanaged stress has on your body and how to quell stress quickly and easily, please refer to my book CHOOSE TO THRIVE.
B. Get adequate rest. The effects of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis go deeper than just the sleepiness and fatigue you're bound to feel. Research shows that prolonged sleep deprivation can wear down immune protection and can prevent the body from doing necessary cell repair. Conversely, when you get adequate rest, you actually boost your defenses. Experts recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per night at minimum to maintain optimal health. To learn about all my best tips to sleep like a baby night after night, please refer to my book CHOOSE TO THRIVE.
C. Engage in regular, moderate exercise. Regular physical activity has numerous benefits from weight maintenance to mood improvement, and among these, increasing your immunity is one of the most important. Research shows that aerobic exercise can increase the body's natural virus-killing cells as it increases the transfer of oxygen from your lungs to your blood and induces healthy sweating. Doctors (and yours truly) recommend engaging in at least a brisk 30-minute walk three or four times a week. Just take caution not to overdo it; overtraining can actually run down your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. And if you can exercise outdoor in nature, such as at the beach, hiking in the mountain, walking at your local park, and more, you will do the most to bring about a more positive mood. My two favorite exercise activities are hiking in the mountains and walking/jogging at the beach. To Inspire and motivate you to get into the best shape of your life, please refer to my book INVEST IN YOURSELF WITH EXERCISE.
D. Drink plenty of fluids. For many Americans, soda is their main source of fluids. Not only can these sugar- and caffeine-loaded beverages dehydrate you, but they can also displace water, an essential partner in healthy immunity. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day. Water flushes the system, helping to wash out toxins and keep the body adequately hydrated. My liquid of choice is the fresh alkaline water I make daily in my kitchen with the Ionizer Plus device pictured here to the right next to the sink. To learn more about the benefits of drinking health-promoting alkaline water, visit this page on my website on The Alkaline Lifestyle, or listen to my radio interview on The Healing Benefits of Alkaline Water, or refer to my book WIRED FOR HIGH-LEVEL WELLNESS.
E. Eat a diet rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. The plentiful phytonutrients in colorful fruits and vegetables give the immune system a boost. Produce like blueberries and broccoli as well as certain varieties of Chinese mushrooms and green tea are high in antioxidants and have been proven to enhance the disease-fighting function of the immune system.
On my immunity-boosting food list, I would also include foods rich in Vitamin C like freshly-grown sprouts you can grow in your kitchen, along with spinach, oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, kiwi and also include almonds, garlic (anti-viral), onions, apples, and omega-3 rich foods like flaxseed or salmon. For more information on the best superfoods to eat, please refer to my books KITCHEN GARDENING and THE CURATIVE KITCHEN & LIFESTYLE.
F. Eat yogurt and other foods containing probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods. Recent research demonstrates that these beneficial bacteria stimulate the production of immune system substances that fight disease. Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25%. If you are a vegan, as I am, you can find non-dairy yogurts and other beneficial fermented foods like unheated veggie sauerkrauts at a natural food store.
Remember that the gut houses 70% of the immune system’s cells, so a healthy gut is essential for a healthy immune system. The standard American diet is full of processed foods, which do not promote healthy bacteria. Most families need to add probiotics and to limit processed food to get their guts back in order. I like fermented veggies like kim chi and sauerkraut. To learn more about probiotics, prebiotics, and rejuvenation/detoxification, please refer to my book, WIRED FOR HIGH-LEVEL WELLNESS.
G. Engage in enjoyable activities. Keeping your immune system running smoothly can be fun, too! Research shows that when we take part in rewarding activities, brain chemicals known as natural opioid peptides are released and in turn boost production of the immune-enhancing protein IGA. For example, one study showed that after listening to just 30 minutes of music, IGA levels climb, even when stressors increase. In the study, levels of IGA remained elevated even after the music stopped. Studies also show that loving touch and sex with your partner can provide a similar boost. I bet that I now have your full attention!
H. Get an infrared sauna for your home. This one practice of taking sauna baths (aka sauna bathing or heat therapy or artificially induced fever) will quickly upgrade the level of your health. I have been using my personal Transcend Infrared Sauna at home for nearly 30 years and it's the most important part of my healthy living program. Heat therapy keeps your body detoxified, healed, rejuvenated, and in the pink. So for this final listing of immune-boosting lifestyle practices, I will spend a bit more time.
Taking an infrared sauna may sound like a luxury, but there's lots of scientific evidence to suggest that saunas help prevent the coronavirus as well as colds and the flu. One German study found that people who indulged in an Infrared Sauna twice a week got half as many colds and other viruses as those who didn't. The benefit comes from inhaling air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for viruses to survive. And from the Stanford Medical & Health Care Center is this promising information about heat destroying the coronavirus. They say... "This new coronavirus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 79/80 degrees."
So why Infrared? Infrared is a section of the natural band of light that is not visible to the human eye, but can be felt as heat. Unlike the high heat produced in traditional saunas, far infrared heat is able to penetrate the body to a depth of 1.5 to 2 inches. This stimulates the body’s cellular detoxification process more effectively and at a lower temperature than a traditional sauna.
CLICK HERE to listen to one of my radio interviews on This Week in America where I cover in detail all of the benefits of regular Infrared Sauna Bathing and why you should have your own personal infrared sauna in your home.
The infrared sauna is also more beneficial over the traditional sauna or steam room if weight loss is desired because of the energy expenditure. Compared to the steam room, the sauna places a greater demand on the body in terms of using up calories — therefore assisting in fat loss. Studies show that a person can burn up to 300 calories during a sauna session, the equivalent of a 2-3 miles jog or an hour of moderate weight training.
Artificially Induced Fever — Today sweating is not only “in,” it’s been proven to be one of the healthiest things a body can do. Nothing beats the feeling and overall well-being or the health benefits you get after you’ve worked up a “good sweat” and the easiest key to a “good sweat” in an infrared sauna.
Sweating by overheating the body in an infrared sauna also produces these effects:
1) Creates a “fever” reaction that kills potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria and increases the number of leukocytes in the blood, thereby strengthening the immune system — which is very important for fighting viruses, including colds, flu, cancer and bolstering resistance to infections. In other words, it increases and accelerates the body’s own healing activity and restorative capacity.
2) Speeds up metabolic processes of vital organs and inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria and virus. The vital organs and glands, including endocrine and sex glands, are stimulated to increased activity. Many people report having an increased libido after engaging in regular infrared sauna sessions.
4) Stimulates vasodilation of peripheral vessels, which relieves pain and speeds healing of sprains, strains, bursitis, peripheral vascular diseases, arthritis and muscle pain.
5) Promotes relaxation, thereby lending a feeling of well-being.
6) Refer to this page on my website, Sweating Your Way to Vitality, with many scientific studies on how the heat of the Infrared sauna destroys viruses, reduces the risk of pneumonia, reduces muscle and joint pain, beautifies skin, supports weight lose and cellulite reduction, improves mood, relaxes the body, and so much more.
I use and highly recommend the Transcend Infrared Sauna by High Tech Health in Boulder, CO.
Use my name as a code and get a $500 discount on a 1-, 2-, or 3-person Sauna. It’s the best sauna in the industry.
Call and ask any questions, get a free health consultation, or to purchase your own salubrious Transcend Infrared Sauna:
800-794-5355 or 303-413-8500,
both ext. 2
An investment in health is the best investment you can make. I’d never be without my personal infrared sauna. It’s kept me very healthy and disease-free for decades. To learn more about the benefits of taking saunas and which kind is the best, please refer to the Favorites page in the navigation bar of this website and peruse the many articles I have posted on Heat Therapy and the Transcend Infrared Sauna.