Over the weekend I came down with a mild cold. Nothing major, (Covid test was negative-yay!), but a cold, nonetheless. Who knows where I picked it up, but it is highly unusual for me to get sick in the 1st place.
It inspired me to share why praying often, eating well & moving more can boost your immune system and help you return to vibrant health & well-being faster if you do happen to come down with something.
God created our bodies with miraculous healing capabilities when they are supported according to that design. Unfortunately, our fast-paced, fast-food, no time to rest, recharge or move our bodies (aka exercise) society doesn’t allow our bodies to do what God designed them to do – stay healthy and heal.
That being said, I recommend consulting with your health care provider with questions, concerns or think you may have something more serious than the common cold.
Immune Boost #1 Praying Often
Connecting to God frequently throughout your day has many physical health benefits. God designed us to be close to him, hence we feel better when we do connect with him.
The biggest benefit (other than being close to God) is the peace I feel as stress I have seems to melt away. Stress is an immune zapper. When we’re under a lot of stress, we’re more susceptible to colds, flu, ect. It also slows down the healing process. All because when we feel stressed, our brains tell our bodies it’s time to fight, run or freeze. Leaving all those other things like digestion, immunity, reproduction, metabolism and the like taking a back seat.
So take some time to tap into the Prince of Peace a few times a day and feel his healing love surround, penetrate & move within you. Hand your stresses over to him and let his peace wash over you, allowing your body, mind & spirit to experience peace and ease instead of dis-ease.
Sometimes it’s hard to quiet your minds enough (especially this time of year) to really feel that connection & peace. Guided meditations can help you calm your racing thoughts and allow your body to relax and make that connection.
I’m currently running a Free 21 Day Advent Calendar Challenge (November 28 – December 18, 2021) with a different 5-7 minute, scripture-based guided meditation every day for the first 21 days of Advent. I also have a Complete 21 Day Advent Calendar Challenge available that includes many extras, including a meditation for Christmas & Epiphany as well as unlimited, lifetime access.
It’s not to late to sign up! Click the button below to learn more & register today!
Immune Boost #2 Eating Well
We all know the holidays are laden with candy, sugary drinks (with & without alcohol) and other rich foods. Many of which are only available this time of year. Unfortunately, all that sugar can wreak havoc with your health in a number of ways, including your immunity.
Sugar, in particular, is highly inflammatory. Especially if it’s not burned off (aka exercise) right away. Eating too much sugar puts added stress on the body as it has to work extra hard to keep the sugar levels in your blood within a tight range. This excess sugar eventually gets stored as fat & extra weight.
Sugar hits us with another whammy because it takes up receptors on our white blood cells that would normally latch onto bacteria, viruses and other germs and escort them out of the body. Some studies report excess sugar consumption decreases the effectiveness of white blood cells by as much as 50%.
This phenomena is particularly potent within 5 hours of eating a large amount of sugar. Say 75 grams or more, like what’s found in 2 cans of regular soda. Or 7 or 8 pieces of Christmas candy I may have consumed about 4 hours before I started feeling the gunk in the back of my throat….It was delicious, though!
Eating more real, whole foods (what your body was designed to thrive on) will not only help keep your boost your immunity, it will help prevent you from gaining those extra pounds many of us tend to gain this time of year.
I like to keep it simple by having a meat (with some fat on it) and lots of vegetables at every meal. I also cook enough for supper for My Favorite Handyman & I to enjoy the next day for lunch.
Now, I’m not saying don’t enjoy any candy, cookies or hot cocoa. But do be mindful about it. I have no doubt the extra sugar I had last weekend (pecan & apple pie as well as Mom’s Christmas candies-YUM!) played a huge role in this little cold virus setting up shop.
I’m not used to eating that much sugar and I’m sure my body was like: Woah Girl! It was too busy dealing with the sugar (and dairy, nuts, and all) to be bothered about that virus sneaking in.
Immune Boost #3 Moving More
Yes! Body movement is a great way to not only prevent illness, but to help your body return to health quicker. Body movement pumps the blood out to the tissues so your body can function optimally. Filled with oxygen, nutrients and white blood cells, good blood circulation is essential to our immunity.
Body movement helps get rid of the waste your body creates by picking it up and shuttling it to the lungs, lymph, liver, kidneys, large intestine and skin to be excreted.
Body movement also raises the body temperature a bit. Germs like cold & flu viruses tend to thrive at temperatures about 93-98F. They tend to die when the body temperature is elevated (aka fever).
A famous 17th century physician, Thomas Sydenham, said, “Fever is nature’s engine which she brings into the field to remove her enemy.”
I don’t take Tylenol/Advil for just a fever. God built fever into your immune system to help kill those invading germs. So raising the body temperature a few degrees by working up a sweat for 20-30 minutes once or twice a day will boost your immune system.
When I’m not feeling 100%, I will chunk up my usual 30-45 minute workout into 2-3 smaller workouts or get an extra workout in, just to get my body temperature up more than just once a day.
Now letting a fever run over 103F can be dangerous (as is a history of febrile seizures) and needs something to help bring it down. I will also take the Tylenol/Advil if I have aches & pains that prevent me from sleeping or drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
I would also caution anyone from doing any heavy/vigorous workouts if they have symptoms below the neck, such as pneumonia, bronchitis or asthma. In these situations, the body is struggling to get adequate oxygen in. You wouldn’t want to tax it any more. Talk to your health care provider about what body movement, if any, would be more appropriate.
What about you?
Of course there are all the other things like sipping hot water or herbal tea, humidifiers, getting enough sleep, not to mention extra supplements, essential oils and over the counter medicines that I didn’t cover and you can talk to your health care provider about.
Praying often, eating well & moving more have so many benefits, one of them being the foundation for a strong immune system.
Are there specific ways you pray, eat or move to boost your immune system? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Enjoy the Journey!
Remember, if you’re looking for a meaningful Advent practice that takes less than 15 minutes a day, check out my 21 Day Advent Calendar Challenge.
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