Movement is Gold
A 2011 study showed the most significant factor for preventing respiratory infections—even more than diet and stress—was exercise.
– Exercising for even just 20 min. per week showed better infection prevention than no exercise at all.
– Exercising 5 or more days per week was shown to reduce the risk of an upper respiratory infection by 43% and the severity of infection was reduced by 32% – 41%.
– Too much exercise can have a temporary negative affect on immunity. This may apply to high level athletes.
YOUR BODY’S DEFENCES
Resiliency in body, mind and spirit get us through difficult times and enable us to learn, grow and overcome challenges and obstacles. Our immune system is the same. It learns, grows and develops just like our muscles and brain do when challenged. Without our awareness, it keeps things in check as it encounters all aspects of life. It’s like a stern receptionist that screens visitors before they’re allowed to see the top executive of a company.
Your immune system can be fortified in many ways. Traditional Chinese Medicine has an important immune building remedy called “Jade Windscreen Formula.” This remedy was considered as precious as jade. “Wind” is the external pathogen that is trying to get in and sell the executive a timeshare that he doesn’t need or want. The “screen” is the receptionist who keeps denying the salesperson entry. The primary herb in this formula is astragalus which is known for its immune building properties.
Other herbs that build and fortify the immune defences are the adaptogenic herbs. These are the herbs that tonify, nourish and build the hormonal and energy producing systems of the body. Ginseng, eleutherococcus, schisandra, holy basil, licorice and rhodiola are a few. These and other herbs can help build resiliency throughout the winter and help you cope with the stresses of life. Add in good sleep, some meditation, regular exercise and a warming healthy winter diet and you’ve got a great recipe for giving your “immune receptionist” a big Christmas bonus. (Don’t take adaptogenic herbs if you have a fever/headache.)