Archive for December, 2009

Immunity, Conclusion of Top 5

December 22nd, 2009

Well happy holidays to one and to all. This is our last installment of our top 5 ways to boost immunity. Coincidentally they have a lot in common this time of year:  stress and spend time with loved ones.

Stress has many deleterious effects on the human body. A New England Journal of Medicine article studied the effects of stress on the immune system.  People who were under greater stress were 3x more likely to develop a cold after direct exposure to the rhinovirus – and they say good jobs are hard to find! It makes sense when you think about it, most of us get sick after a stressful event. During the stress I think the adrenal system can shore up any weaknesses. As the stressor leaves, we are more susceptible to opportunistic infections.

Spend time with loved ones. I know it’s almost like a national anthem, oh I do poorly over the holidays or oh god we’re meeting as a family. Eeegads. Well get off of the misery train, you don’t have to ride it if you don’t want. Enjoy the people around you for what they are.  If you have differences with them you can rest assure they have them with you. So relax.  Be merry.  And get over it. Happy holidays and see you all in 2010.

Immunity and Exercise

December 11th, 2009

Exercise, the kryptonite of all couch potatoes, is a valued ally in the quest for health. Why?  Because exercise increases the flow of blood through the body. If the circulation of blood is increased then the body has a more readily available supply of what it needs.  Which means you will be able to do what you need to, when you need to do it.

The Cleveland Clinic has done a study on this very fact. Here’s what they found.  Even relatively low levels of aerobic exercise can protect your immune system.

Yes, even in collective blog land I can her the sigh. So if you are sitting there thinking, I can’t do 1 hour a day. Get over it. Anyone can do this program.  So lets get at it.

Just 20-30 minutes of brisk walking 5 days per week turns out to be the  ideal training program for maintaining a healthy immune response.

So close down the home entertainment system, the internet and, yes, the cell phone and get out there.  Now.

Immunity and Sleep

December 11th, 2009

OK, so lets tackle sleep first. 

A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine,  shows that poor sleep and the susceptibility to colds go hand in hand.  Marvel concept, huh. The study followed 153 men and women for two weeks and kept track of both the duration and quality of sleep. They then exposed all of the participants to the rhinovirus, or the common cold. Who are these people? And they say there are a lack of good jobs. The results:  Those who slept on average less than 7 hours a night were 3 times more likely to get sick compared to those who averaged at least 8 hours. The verdict? When you are tired, SLEEP.

A few years ago one of my teachers said. I had a humbling weekend. Why? I will tell you. I verified that my dog is smarter than I am. As I sat there feeling tired from a rough night I saw my dog curl up in the corner. He sleeps when he’s tired. I hope to learn to do the same someday. If you can’t sleep, come in here and lets see if we can help. Do we have a deal?

Top 5 ways to Improve Immunity

December 4th, 2009

Hello All,

While we scramble for cover under a constant barrage of viral and opportunistic infections it might be good to do a chapter review. What can we do to boost our immune system? Well here it goes, the top 5 things you can do at home: 

1) Get enough sleep

2) Eat the right food, see prior blog

3) Exercise

4) Reduce Stress

5) Spend time with loved ones.

 

Stay tuned for more detailed information on each of these 5 tactics to boost immunity.