Wednesday, October 21, 2009

H1N1 Prevention Series #3: Build a healthy immune system

Swine flu prevention part 3.

The other night I got a chance to hear EJ Hook from the Woodland Park Zoo talk about natural yard care. His main focus was on how to have healthy plants. A healthy plant has a much better chance of surviving, even if exposed to a disease or attacked by a predator/bug. This got me thinking about part three of our series on preventing flu and colds this season.

We can't disinfect the world, there are going to be germs and viruses around no matter how careful we are to wash our hands or clean our homes. This leads into my number one prevention tip: build a healthy immune system!

Years ago I was not very healthy, if I got a cold I would be down for 3 weeks or more. There was no such thing as a little cold. I didn't realize it at the time but my immune system was weak. Over a period of time I rebuilt my immune system. I remember the first time I caught a little cold while I was rebuilding. At first I panicked, but it turned out to be a 3 day itty bitty cold. I was shocked!

Here is my personal top 10 list to being healthy.

1. Go outside, and get fresh air for at least 15 minutes everyday.
This applies to all seasons and all weather.My mom used to call it getting the stink blown off.

2. Eat real food. Limit sugar, processed foods, and empty foods. Eat lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies.
For me these 3 seem to depress my immune system.

3. Breathe deeply and drink lots of good water.
We can only live a couple of minutes without air, a few days without water. This tells me how important they are in my health.

4. Sleep. Dallas and I both have found when we start getting run down,there is nothing more powerful than going to bed early or taking a nap.

5. Move. The more I move the better I feel. After working in the office all day, nothing feels better for my health than to move again. I don't always feel like going, sometimes I have to force myself to go but rarely do I not come home feeling like a new person.

6. Relax. Stress tightens up everything. Take time to relax. Take a few moments after driving, talking on the phone, being on the computer or any other stressful event to take a deep breath and relax your shoulders. I'm tense by design, learning to relax

7. Have fun. When I was a kid we showed cows at the fair each summer. During that time, I did everything wrong for good health but I never got sick. The only reason I can come up with is I was having a blast. I loved whatI was doing. Norman Cousins has a whole book on this very subject.

8. Create a healthy home. Your home should be a place for you and your family to relax, rejuvenate and thrive this should not be the cause of ill health. (Don't worry there will be a lot more of articles on this subject)

9. Eat light, especially before bed. If you eat a heavy meal,follow it up with a light one. When my digestive system is happy, my health is usually just as happy.

10. Listen to yourself. This is my last tip but it is the most important one. No one knows how you feel better than you. Learn to listen and trust
yourself. If something doesn't feel right, listen!

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