With each passing year, we as human beings continue to grow as a species. New medical revelations and breakthroughs are written about in medical journals, explained on television and referenced on the internet almost every day. Compared to 500, 100, even 50 years ago, our knowledge and level of deeper understanding of medical science has grown profoundly.
As more and more studies and scientific measurements are conducted on the human body, new avenues for naturally and organically utilizing one’s own body as a mechanism to fight off sickness come to light.
Our immune system as an entity is an incredibly vast and intricate system of processes and defenses that help prevent us, the organism, from infection. A poor immune system can be debilitating while a strong one can help ward off sicknesses that friends, family and coworkers seem to fall victim to regularly.
But how do we ensure that our immune system–the body’s primary disease, germ and infection fighting force–remains strong and virile?
According to the US National Library of Medicine, regular exercise not only can help with weight loss and heart disease, but can help reduce the chances of you catching the cold or flu. It has been proven time and time again that keeping your body in good shape can help ward off disease before they strike, and help you get over them more quickly once you are sick.
As with most things, moderation is key. As reported in the New York Times, over exerting yourself can actually be counter-productive, weakening your immune system. Exercising your body to the point of complete exhaustion at regular intervals can not only leave you susceptible to disease, but can cause the symptoms to last longer and hit you harder.
Though no one is completely sure as to how exactly exercise helps fight sickness, many theories have been suggested including an increase in blood circulation and antibody presence within your immune system.
Medium-length, non-intensive exercise such as a half an hour walk, short bike rides or a brief jog can all have positive impacts on your immune health without exhausting your body and brain to the point of risk.
While some may read this section title and automatically assume it translates to “eat organic food,” that isn’t necessarily the case. While the science surrounding the health benefits of organic food have yet to come to a definite conclusion, the lack of GMO, pesticides and (marginal) increase in nutrients certainly can’t hurt anything but your wallet if you decide to go organic.
The real benefit and meaning behind eating “naturally,” however, does not lie in the product you’re eating, but the frequency you do so. Our ancestors were not regimented with the typical policy of “three square meals a day” that we see today. They ate when they were hungry, often staggering meals whenever they saw fit. The practice of eating three meals on a rough schedule came from European settlers and has stuck around since. But that hardly means it’s the most healthy or beneficial way to approach eating. Studies show that spacing out your calorie consumption between 4, 5 or even 6 smaller meals throughout the day can be healthier, limit appetite and increase energy.
Your immune cells aren’t just affected by how much you’re moving and how often you eat. Your mood and stress levels can also have a deeper impact on your immune system than you may realize. If someone is feeling stressed out, aggravated or depressed, these negative moods and feelings can weaken your immune system. An easy way to fight this is via meditation.
Basic meditation done once or twice a day is often enough to have a noticeable impact on your overall health, particularly during cold and flu season when everyone around seems to be catching one thing or another.
While medications and supplements can have an obvious impact on our overall health and well-being, it’s important to recognize that our bodies have a natural, built-in ability that not all of us are properly harnessing. By sticking to the three basic principles, getting exercise, eating naturally and finding yourself through spirituality and meditation, your immune system and happiness will flourish.