The following is a post from Contributing Writer, Dr. Kristin Marchman. Dr. Marchman is a Licensed Chiropractor at Essential Wellness in Cumming, GA. And we are thankful to have Essential Wellness as a current website sponsor for Cumming Local.
Boost Your Immune System This Spring and Summer
The beautiful spring weather has officially arrived here in Georgia and, if you are anything like me, the last thing you want is to be stuck indoors due to an illness in your family. Tips for staying healthy during cold and flu season run rampant, but these tips tend to be less prevalent once the weather warms up. Since we unfortunately are not exempt to illness once warmer weather arrives, I would like to share some natural ways to boost your immune system this spring and summer.
The best way to avoid illness is not about avoiding everyone around you who is “sick,” but more about maintaining a healthy, well-functioning immune system. By keeping your immune system in optimal working order, you become far less likely to acquire an illness, and if you do, you are better prepared to move through it without complications and return back to optimal health more quickly.
Here are some tips for staying healthy this spring and summer:
- Get outside. Recent research has shown that optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the best ways to naturally fight disease. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy with your family after a walk and soak up those rays of sunshine. If sun exposure is limited, an oral vitamin D3 supplement is the next best option.
- Get active. This is a great thing to do outside while soaking up some Vitamin D. Find out what your family likes to do outdoors and have fun with it. Walks, bike riding, and skating are great ideas as well as many outdoor sports that can be played as a family. Exercise increases your circulation and blood flow throughout the body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which allows it to function optimally. As always, be sure to stay hydrated. Water is best and coconut water is a great natural alternative to sugary sports drinks.
- Get adjusted. Chiropractic isn’t just for back pain and headaches. By keeping the spine aligned, you are not only helping your nervous system function at 100%, but your immune system as well.
- Get the right foods in your stomach. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day and buy organic and local when possible. Spring and summer are the perfect times to find local produce in the area. Also, do your best to avoid sugar and processed foods. Sugar impairs the quality of your immune response almost immediately. It also can decimate your beneficial bacteria and feed pathogenic yeast and viruses. Sugar can be consumed in moderation if you are healthy, but the last thing you should be eating when you aren’t feeling well is sugar.
- Get your gut flora levels on track. The bacteria in your gut have enormous control of your immune response. The best way to improve your beneficial bacteria ratio is to avoid sugars, as they feed pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, processed foods and many grains should be limited and replaced with healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, eggs, and nuts. A quality probiotic supplement will replenish the “good” bacteria that your body needs.
- Get natural antibiotics to use if needed. Examples of these include garlic, colloidal silver, and coconut oil. These work like broad-spectrum antibiotics against bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in your body. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not lead to resistance and have less, if any, side effects.
- Get plenty of rest. Our bodies need sleep to regenerate and re-energize each night. Just as it becomes harder to accomplish daily tasks when you are tired, it is much harder to fight illness when the body is overly fatigued.
- Get to know the best tools to address the stresses in your life. We all face stress every day, but when stress becomes overwhelming, your body becomes less able to fight illness. Whether you turn to prayer, exercise, or relaxation techniques when you need to de-stress, find something that works well for you.
- Get happy. It sounds cliché, but a positive mental attitude can do a lot for your health. Do something that makes you happy every day, whether it’s a random act of kindness to brighten someone’s day or simply thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for and taking a moment to remember all of them.
My goal as a chiropractor is not only to keep my patients pain free, but also to help them achieve their best level of health. I believe that following the above guidelines will help to keep your immune system functioning at its optimal level this spring and summer, so you can fully enjoy the upcoming warm months with your family.
Dr. Kristin Marchman
Contact Dr. Marchman
Located at 5830 Clarion Street (Vickery Village) Cumming, GA 30040