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Optimal immune function
Taking care of one’s immune system is always important but especially when allergy and cold seasons overlap. This year allergy season has begun a month to month-and-half early in many U.S. locations.
Boost your immune system by following some suggestions from Mark Hyman, M.D., of the UltraWellness Center and author of Ultra-Prevention: The Six Week Plan That Will Make You Healthier for Life. Hyman also writes a blog, http://drhyman.com/blog.
Start by improving your body’s ability to process waste
•At the end of a shower, alternate between hot and cold water for a few seconds each or longer if you can stand it. Swings in temperature increase your circulation which flushes the lymphatic system and improves immunity.
•Drink a glass of water (at room temperature with a squeeze of lemon) first thing in the morning to stimulate the digestive system and flush toxins.
•Get your heart rate up and sweat through regular exercise to help the body rid itself of waste and toxins.
•Take a cleansing soak once per week to draw out toxins. For 20 minutes, sit in a hot bath that contains a handful of Epsom salts and ½ cup of baking soda.
Other tips for boosting immunity
•Stretch your muscles. Tight muscles might mean a weakened immune system as lymphatic fluid travels through the ducts embedded in muscles. Enhance lymph circulation by placing your hands on the back of a chair or counter and walking back until the arms and spine are fully extended. Keep your legs straight and tailbone slightly lifted as you relax your head, stretch the spine, and sink your chest and belly towards the floor. Hold for one minute.
•Drink plenty of fluids as indoor air can be drying. Consuming adequate fluids supports all of your body’s functions including the immune system.
•Avoid simple sugars which can suppress the immune system for hours.
•Include protein in all meals and snacks as protein helps build your body, including your immune and detoxification systems.
•Get adequate sleep which is critical to immune system function.
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