With the change of season come several elements that may affect your body if your immune system is not working properly.
Disorders in the immune system can result in dangerous health conditions like infections that can be easily prevented by following a handful of tips to boost it:
- Exercise. It is the simplest way to keep your body moving and it costs nothing. Exercise helps strengthen your immune system and prevents overweight, another important factor in the development of chronic disease.
- Lower your intake of sugar and fat. Consuming too much sugar or fat suppresses the cells that fight bacteria. Instead, it is recommended you eat foods with high nutrient content like vegetables, fruit and whole grains.
- Reduce your stress. Even though short-term stress may boost the immune system, constant stress has the opposite effect and exposes the body to cortisol and adrenaline, which suppress the immune system proper functioning.
- Be social. Wether you interact with a small or large group of people, being in contact with others will help make your immune system much stronger.
- Eat antioxidants. A diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants will help fight infection. To get enough of this in your diet expert recommend eating an abundance of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, like berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots.
- Adequate rest. Simply put, fatigue increases your susceptibility to illness. Most adults need from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Laughing and meditation are the easiest way to reduce stress levels. Who wants to be on edge all the time?
Walking is a low impact cardiovascular exercise that involve the major muscles working in a repetitive fashion for an extended period of time.
There is a variety of benefits you can obtain from a walk, depending on its intensity and how hard you push yourself.
- Leisure Walk is done at a moderate pace, it is great for relaxation and as a kick start when you are just beginning to exercise. it stimulates mental well-being and inspires meditation.
- Hiking, also called Cross-country hiking or Bushwalking, helps you strengthen your calf and glute muscles as you discover your surroundings. Variations of this exercise place emphasis on different muscles of your lower body and boost your cardiovascular activity. Hikng is typically done in a wild setting or dirt rail, as opposed to the flat terrain preferred for walking.
- Challenge Courses are a fun variation of hiking, and is usually done in groups, as you will need others to help you sort through the several obstacles along the course, like rope ladders, climbing and tight ropes.
- Interval Training consists of combining periods of moderate and intense walking, which can contribute to burning more calories the more vigorously you exercise. Start out with a light-paced walk for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up, then walk as fast as you can for 20 seconds, walk at a moderate pace for 40 seconds, and continue to alternate back and forth for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Sprint Training is very similar to interval training in that you do high intensity bursts. Walk for 5 to 10 minutes, sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 to 90 seconds. Alternate back and forth for 20 to 30 minutes. You are basically using walking for your rest periods instead of standing still.
Whichever the type of walk is right for you, remember to do it at your own pace. Racing or distance are not the goals, moving at a comfortable pace your body can handle and benefit from is. Control your breathing and enjoy the scenery around you. It will make it the most fun and provide you with better results.
Walking is the simplest form of exercise, it is free and easy to incorporate into any lifestyle. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate level physical activity five days a week to see results which range from improving strength and cardiovascular health to weight loss.
A recent study in England also proved that daily walks have the ability to improve one’s mood, as the exercise releases natural endorphins that can elevate the mood of depressed patients better than antidepressants.
What walking CAN do for you:
- Increase weight loss
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve balance
- Reduce stress.
What walking CANNOT do for you:
- Build muscle bulk
- Offer a controlled environment like a gym
- Provide a predictable calorie burn like on a treadmill machine.
Follow us next week for an installment on What type of walk is the right one for you.
Salt is essential for keeping the body running properly and for good health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed saltwater inhalation therapy for bronchial and lung disorders.
The National Academy of Sciences recommends that Americans consume a minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health. Individual needs, however, vary enormously based a person’s genetic make-up and their lifestyle. Nowadays, more people are rediscovering and enjoying the benefits of salt therapy.
When shopping for culinary or bath salt, it is important to find the words “all natural” on the packaging and avoid highly refined salts, for they are bleached and chemically treated.
In its natural form Salt is an easily processed nutrient that influences the body in three distinct ways:
- Reduces stress. Unrefined salt is rich in calcium and magnesium, the latter being a key mineral to keep the body free of stress.
- Improves overall health. Salt helps carry nutrients into the cells and regulates several body functions, including bolstering the immune system and enabling healthy digestion. It also has a large variety of minerals needed for optimal health, many of which are missing from our daily diet.
- Assists in detoxifying the body. Salt baths with warm water help open the pores, allowing toxins to be released and permuting the body absorb minerals.
Most of our salt comes from foods, some from water. Doctors often recommend replacing water and salt lost in exercise and when working outside. And just like with everything in our life, balance is crucial for optimum results.
Most of us run a very hectic lifestyle and sometimes forget to balance our diet.The one thing that should never be absent in your daily routine is water.
An average adult’s body contains the equivalent of 45 quarters of water, and through normal activities loses two to three quarters each day,
It is as easy to get dehydrated in winter as during summer time. You may not be sweating but water vapor is still being lost through your breath. The colder it gets outside, the harder is it for the body to maintain a 98.6 degree temperature. Producing that extra energy requires extra water. Drinking at least 70 ounces of water a day will help you stay warm.
Dehydration can cause exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cramps, loss of coordination and even a stroke. A dehydrated person is also more susceptible to winter colds and flu.
Remember not only to carry your gloves and hat to keep your outer body warm, but to also have some water handy to keep your organism running smoothly.
Lower back pain is one of the most uncomfortable. Whether it is caused from sitting in a bad posture, from practicing sports, or because your mattress is not as comfy as it once was, it is important to stretch the correct muscles to avoid prolonged pain.
The Spinal Twist stretch or T-Roll stretch helps relieve contraction in lower back muscles like abdominal oblique, transversus abdominis and quadratus lumborum.
This stretch should be done careful and slowly. Never force your knees to the ground to avoid overstretching.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Slowly let your knees fall toward the floor until a gentle stretch is felt in your spine.
- Hold for 10 seconds and return to the starting position.
- Next, allow your knees to slowly fall to the other side until a gentle stretch is felt.
- Hold for 10 seconds and return to the starting position
Repeat the exercise several times for the each side.