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Healthy Living: Boost your immune system this flu season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called on everyone who has not been vaccinated this influenza season to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, citing “significant increases” in flu activity over the past week.
However, many persons are hesitant or unable to get that annual “flu shot.”
Dr. Lawrence Hoberman, a practicing health and wellness doctor in San Antonio, echoes the call for vaccination, while also boosting overall immunity naturally. He offers common-sense suggestions to help keep the germs at bay.
10 ways to boost your immune system naturally during the flu season:
•Wash your hands early and often with plain soap and water for at least 15 seconds to get rid of germs that may linger. There’s no need to use antibacterial soaps.
•Don’t forget the exercise. Staying active with some kind of exercise program will help you stay a few steps ahead of the flu.
•Get the right amount of sleep you need every night. Skipping valuable sleep time to catch the end of a late football game will catch up to you over time, leaving your body vulnerable to diseases like the flu.
•Don’t overdo the antibiotics. Taking antibiotics every time you’re sick can deplete your immune system residing in your gut, leaving your body more vulnerable to disease.
•Drink plenty of water. Depleting your body of the natural fluids it needs is one more variable among many that makes your body more vulnerable to the flu.
•Keep your home extra clean to repel the bugs. According to the CDC, human flu viruses can survive as long as eight hours on common surfaces (doorknobs, books, and doors).
•Take care of your emotions. Our go-go-go lifestyles don’t leave much time for you to handle stress as well as you should, so give yourself the gift of time -- ideally 30 minutes a day -- to relax.
•Eat the right foods, every day, all the time. Even something as simple as a hot liquid like chicken soup may be more helpful in treating congestion than consuming the same thing at room temperature.
•Get enough vitamin D. However, before supplementing your diet with vitamin D, health experts at the Vitamin D Council recommend getting your blood levels checked often.
•A multi-strain probiotic every day gives your body’s immune system a much-needed boost. Not only can taking a multi-species probiotic restore the healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, but it also boosts your body’s immunities naturally and safely.
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