There’s a bug going around town! I don’t know about you, but a lot of people I know are sick these days! Maybe it’s due to the constant change in temperatures? Maybe it’s due to the change of seasons? Maybe it’s due to the stars? Maybe it’s all of the above!
One thing for sure is that if you’re sick with the flu, then it’s definitely because your immune system has weakened to the point where the flu virus has tipped the biological scales inside your body and is multiplying to the point where your symptoms start to show.
I tell my clients all the time that our bodies are constantly fighting off foreign invaders (pathogens) like germs (bacteria) and viruses but we aren’t always sick because when our bodies are strong and healthy, our immune system is strong. Your immune system is like your hometown army, and the flu is like a band of invading marauders. You want to take care of your army – train them up and nourish them well so they can fight off the marauders. When they are weak, they sometimes lose the battle and that’s when you get sick.
It is important to note, however, that the marauders and other foreign invaders are always inside of your body trying to gain the upper hand in the battle. They are constantly testing your immune system and looking for weak spots, and when it has been weakened, they strike and the battle tips the scale into their favour.
That was a super simplification of your immune system but it serves its purpose because now we can talk about how to keep your hometown army strong and impenetrable!
When we talk about keeping your immune system strong, it’s really not that complicated. Sure you can take all those fancy supplements you read about in the media like: echinacea, elderberry, ginseng and they help, but what’s more effective is good old fashion exercise and a healthy diet.
I know, boring, right? It’s not fancy, it’s not expensive (unless you hire a personal trainer…) and it’s not an instant cure. It’s a preventative cure.
But that’s also the beauty in the design.
Our bodies are so well crafted that it has all the essential tools and abilities to keep you safe from the outside world. All you have to do, is treat it with some respect. And even if you don’t, it can still withstand all the crap you throw at it – crap, like constantly eating processed food, living a completely sedentary lifestyle, binge drinking, smoking, sleeping late, high stress levels. That’s a pretty resilient piece of hardware. When you down a can of pop, you consume about 39 grams of sugar. That’s about the same as eating 9.5 teaspoons of sugar in about 2 minutes. Try dumping 9.5 teaspoons of sugar in your car’s gas tank and see how well your car runs? Your body can take a lot…
But it’s not invincible.
“You want to take care of your army – train them up and nourish them well so they can fight off the marauders.”
Your immune system gradually gets weaker and weaker as you continue the mistreatment of your body. And when it has weakened to the point of just holding the marauders at bay, you step outside on a chilly day with wet hair, or you workout with the air conditioning on just after you’re body has already cooled down and that’s the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. The flu virus wins the battle and you get sick. Then you associate the wet-hair-chilly-day with you catching the flu when in fact, the bulk of the damage has already been done by you hammering your immune system with your own lifestyle.
So there you have it. If you want to be less sick this year, it’s probably not a good idea to run outside with wet hair because you may get cold, but that’s not going to make you catch a cold. Start by getting enough sleep, choose healthier eating options, and get some proper exercise.