Back to Health & Fitness

Category: Health & Fitness

7 Ways to Make Your Immune System Work More

By Heather Dominick

Did you know that most winter flues start a MONTH before you feel them - if not more? Yes, that's right. Even if you are feeling healthy, you have a good chance of getting sick if you aren't paying close attention.

I admit I've done it myself. Sometimes I get all pumped up with the holidays in December, stay up late wrapping presents, meet people for one to0 many festive dinners out and come January I've lost my zest. Or sometimes even February. For some reason we think that we can add in a ton of activities, food we don't usually eat and family gatherings all in 3 short weeks and then proceed as normal. That approach just lost you your energy.

Ever go on vacation and find yourself . sick. Guess whose body just got a chance to "re-coop"?

The first time I ever really experienced this phenomena was in high school - it was my senior year and I was working really hard as cheerleader captain (Hey, this is a serious story!) for an upcoming competition. We placed third, but I missed the last big basketball game of my senior year 1 week later because all my exhaustion had caught up with me and I was home with the flue. It was very sad. (I'm over it now.)

The good news is there are a few simple things you can do to prevent "Winter Flues" from happening so much or even at all. Here's a simple checklist of what you can do to increase your immunity right now:

1. Stay active.

This time of year any good party, vacation or company can pull you away from your regular movement routine. Don't let the entire month of December take you away. You can stay active even in the middle of celebrating. You just need to adjust. Instead of saying, "Oh, I can't go to my dance class because I have such and such. Oh, well." Say, " Where can I find 15-30 minutes to be active today since I'll be missing my dance class?" This lets you continue self-care even as the party glasses are clinking and gifts are being opened.

2. Spice it up.

When it comes to flu prevention take ACTION by using spices to your advantage:

Add to your cooking: . lots of fresh ginger . fresh garlic . hot peppers . ginsing paste

Make a tea: . ginsing paste, honey and hot water

Chinese Herb: . Andrographis paniculata - a potent cold-fighting herb recommended by the World Health Organization.

3. Breathe and relax.

Stress is one of the main causes of winter illness. To keep this in check take breath breaks throughout the day - especially during these holiday times. Simply close your eyes: take a few conscious deep breathes: inhale in, exhale out. If you are in a place where you can place your hands on your abdomen or on your heart this will help calm you as well.

4. Antioxidant yourself.

I highly recommend including fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants for this time of year. Don't just go with what you usually eat instead choose with a boost in mind.

Fruits: . clementines . oranges . kiwis

Vegetables: . peppers . spinach . broccoli

Remember you have a lot of valuable "options" even at this time of year and anything extra you can do to give your system a push in the right direction.

5.Sleep tight.

Try calling it a night sooner than later at this darker time of the year. If your nights are really packed with activity or your mind is just "awake" with anticipation then take a hot-water bottle to bed. I know this may sound silly or like old-fashioned advice, but your body will be soothed by connecting to the warm water in the bottle .

6. Fresh herbs.

Growing your own herbs in an indoor window box is a great way to keep yourself "fresh" during the cold months. Fresh thyme, parsley and rosemary help with circulation and digestion. The benefits from fresh COMPLETELY outweigh the use of dry.

7. Bodywork.

Murphy's Law says no matter what, something occasionally will go wrong. Whether it's your back, shoulder or just body tension for those of us living in colder temperatures. Don't try to go it a lone. Find a practitioner that offesr what you enjoy and that you click with. Don't be afraid to keep searching for the right match. There are some wonderful alternative forms of bodywork available. Think about working with someone who offers:

. Thai Yoga Massage
. Pilates
. Feldenkreis
. Yoga

Heather Dominick, "The Energy Expert" is a nutrition and energy specialist, and coach with over 10 years of teaching and coaching experience. Heather's primary focus is in helping women identify nutritional sources for increasing physical energy and making permanent lifestyle changes. To sign up to receive your own 20 minute Energy Make-over, for her freebie how-to articles and no-charge teleclasses on creating your most energized life, visit

Article Source:

Back to Health & Fitness

© Copyright 2006 - 2017 Wiley Studios