We’ve all seen the headlines, “First Ebola diagnosis in the United States”, “The Invasion of Enterovirus EV D68”, and it’s pretty darn scary! While I would personally prefer to curl up in a little disinfected cocoon until it all passes, the truth of the matter is, life is just too demanding to go into hibernation. With that in mind, here are a few stop, drop and roll ideas that might just help you stay healthy this fall.
WASH YOUR HANDS & USE HAND SANITIZER – Ok, so this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t wash their hands after they’ve sneezed or blown their nose. Although we can’t regulate societal etiquette when it comes to hygiene, we can reduce our risk of coming into contact with infectious pathogens by being vigilant about our own cleanliness. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer, especially after coming into contact with a large group of people or traveling in public is one of the easiest ways to dodge hand-to-hand contamination.
EAT MUSHROOMS – Now, I have to admit that I am a HUGE fan of the mushroom. Not only do they taste great and go with just about every dish known to man, but they are also an excellent source of vitamin D and they are one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world! They also contain glucans. Glucans are macro-molecules that can harmlessly imitate foreign cells within the body, stimulating an immune response that can result in the inhalation of alien cells like the common cold. Just one more reason to add mushrooms to every meal throughout the day!
GET 8-HOURS OF SLEEP – Often dismissed as non-essential, getting 8-hours of sleep every night is vital to keeping your immune system operating at full-throttle. When sleep patterns are interrupted or diminished, the levels of natural killer cells (NK cells), within your body, can drop dramatically. These cells are critical to maintaining a healthy immune system and decreased levels leave our bodies wide open to infections like the flu.
ENGAGE IN YOGA & MINDFUL EATING – By maintaining a consistent routine that includes both yogaand mindful eating, you can greatly improve your body’s function and stave off common aliments like cold and flu.
According to Sara Choi, Director of the EarthMind Wellness Center at Honor’s Haven Resort, “Because yoga can improve our respiratory system’s performance through continual conditioning, via breathing techniques and posture, it can actually help to prevent infection.”
“Also, by intentionally chewing more than 30 times, your mind naturally focuses on eating 100%; opening up a subtle awareness of our often unconscious eating habits. As a result, you can really reconnect with your body and recognize whether the food you are ingesting is really what your body needs to stay healthy.”