Are you in need of a few tips on how to boost your immune system? Are you ready for flu season? Yep, it’s that time of year and it seems the germs are already in the air. We are what we eat, so let’s add some vegetables and fruits to our diet. I updated this post from a few years ago. We need to remind people to wash their hands, right?
Before I go any further in this post let me say I am not a doctor, nurse or in the medical field. I am all for natural healing until I can see that a doctor is needed. Okay, now let’s talk about the way I take care of my family during the year.
Strengthen Your Immune System
1. Wash Your Hands
Sometimes I think I am truly a germ freak. Well, I am a germ freak. I often think how dirty the grocery carts are and the stores give us those wipes to use. Please give me a power washer. Have you read where the carts are never cleaned.
They keep rolling around the store with kids in diapers, chicken meat dripping, oh goodness, how am I still alive?
Then the carts roll around outside in the parking lots. Okay, I would really like to know if these carts are ever cleaned. Think about flu season when you shake hands or touch doorknobs.
Bacteria on Door Knobs
Can you imagine the bacteria we are placing our food on in those carts? So, my point is washing your hands, wash your hands and wash your hands again. I remember reading about the monkey bars at school having so much bacteria.
What about the door knobs at work, church or at school? Thank goodness some of the schools now have those anti-bacterial dispensers mounted on the walls. What about the bank deposit drive-in canisters? Oh, and the gas station pumps? It’s a good thing I am not a microbiologist, just saying.
2. Drink Lots of Water
One thing we need to do all year long is to keep hydrated. Water is the best choice. Soda dehydrates you. Drink about half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds drink 50 ounces of water minimum per day. Juice does not count towards your water intake.
Are you like me and have heard different theories about cold water versus room temperature water?
I prefer ice cubes in my water with some lemon packets added. Now, I can never have those lemons at restaurants again in my water. Did you read what is on those little gems? Well, let’s not go there.
3. Is It An Allergy or The Flu?
Do you suffer from allergies? Sometimes it’s really hard for me to figure out if my stuffy nose is allergies or something worse. Check out the bottle called Allergena Progena Meditrend – Allergena GTW (Zone 6) 2oz, that is what I use for my allergies. My sister told me about that product. You choose the “zone” you live in.
It works great and I also use honey for most allergies. When in doubt go see the doctor. Flu season is here. Primary flu symptoms are fever, chills and body aches that are sudden with extreme exhaustion. Flu.gov
4. Neti Pot
Did you see the show when Dr. Oz talked about a Neti Pot? It’s an incredible little plastic unit. I have not had an antibiotic for sinus infections for about 10 years since I invested a few dollars in one of these babies. You must be careful with the water you choose to use in your Neti Pot because it is going into your nose/body. When in doubt boil the water. The box suggests you use warm water with a little salt and use as directed.
Place the Neti Pot in the dishwasher to keep it clean. NeilMed NasaFlo Unbreakable Neti Pot with 50 Premixed Packets
5. Replace Your Toothbrush
Did you know if you have a sinus infection you should replace your toothbrush? Just think of the bacteria in that brush. I stock up on toothbrushes when they get down to fifty cents or clearance prices. The dishwasher does not clean them well enough for me.
6. Replace Your Pillow
Pillows carry a lot of bacteria and allergy pollen. I realize we try to wash the pillowcases, but I would advise watching for pillow sales and replace them at least once a year. Of course, if you have pillow covers as well as pillow cases you should be good. Please remember, during flu season a clean pillow and pillowcase is critical.
7. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Try to eat fruits and vegetables over any processed food or fast food items. Eat a diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and eat a diet low in saturated fats. We need to eat healthy during the flu season. We are what we eat. Wow, that makes us really think about what we are eating, doesn’t it?
8. Sleep Well To Improve Your Immune System
One thing that is critical to stay well is to sleep well. I have read where you should not have a TV in your bedroom. Well, I have to have a TV to go to sleep, so I won’t suggest the “no TV” in the bedroom approach today. I do believe our bedroom should be our sanctuary. Sleep is critical during flu season.
9. Exercise-Great For Our Immune System
I am writing this paragraph to push myself to exercise. I think we should try and push ourselves to do 30 minutes a day, even if it is just three days a week. WooHoo! They say that walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It doesn’t “pound” your body like running. Swimming is also a great way to get the old heart pumping.
10. Stay Away From Crowds
It goes without saying when in doubt stay out of crowds. Stock up on N95 or N100 masks. Better to be safe than sorry. One more step to use during flu season.
11. Avoid Stressful Situations In Life
Do not throw someone else’s “monkey” on your back like my husband always says. Take care of yourself, you are the most important person in the world. If you feel you have a lot of stress in your life, take a deep breath and start thinking about the good things in your life rather than dwelling on the negative.
If you can, delegate or get assistance for projects. Friends are good sounding boards too. Find someone to share experiences with or just to talk to.
12. Don’t smoke
If you do smoke-quit. I know it’s easier said than done! Just going “cold turkey” works for some. Others need the systems that gradually ween you off the nicotine. Do what is best for you, but do it.
13. Check your Weight
Maintain a healthy weight (this one is for me, man is it hard for me to lose weight). You can only have so many Mondays to start a diet.
14. Check Your Blood Pressure
Try to keep in range based on your age and other health factors.
15. Annual Screenings
Get annual screenings appropriate for your age and risk factors.
16. Alcohol Consumption
If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
17. This Is One That I follow:
“Do what is right for you and you will always be happy.” This is a statement that Jane Clayson Johnson gave at my youngest daughter’s college graduation, May 1st, 2004. She graduated from Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
18. Be Happy And Mingle With Happy People
We are responsible for our own happiness. Smile and the world will smile back. I promise. I feel sorry for people who constantly dwell on “if only this would have happened” or “if only this hadn’t happened.” Start thinking about what you do have, please look around you and be thankful for what you do have today. Life is good.
My Final Thoughts:
I will tell you what I use whenever I get around someone who is sick because I remember a time when I didn’t have health insurance, and it was scary. (Update, I now qualify for Medicare). It’s taken me almost 8 years to learn more about natural healing approaches that, in my mind, are safer to put in and on my body. My family and I have had insurance all the years we were working. It sure provides peace of mind.
When I was growing up I don’t remember ever going to the doctor more than maybe every 4 or 5 years. My parents are deceased so I can’t ask them if we had health insurance growing up. I doubt it. We used purple stuff with a swab for strep throat. Hot packs for earaches. The red-staining Merthiolate for cuts and infections. That’s how it was growing up.
I have learned this in the last six years, if you pay cash you save money at the doctor’s office. They don’t have to bill anyone and they get their money when services are rendered. I have learned how to buy three months of prescriptions with cash/debit card for 10% of what they would have cost if I had used my health insurance to buy the med. Check it out and see how it applies to your prescriptions. I also found that some pharmacies are cheaper than others. Call around and see who will give you the best deal, particularly if you pay cash.
Pay Cash at Pharmacies
Yes, you heard that right, I learned which pharmacies had the lowest prices on what prescriptions. I did not have to go to my insurance company’s designated pharmacy. You will then have the freedom to choose where you want to buy the exact same prescriptions (all are generic).
Have you heard that Walmart is not the cheapest place? Please scope out more pharmacies. You might be able to pay less money than your copay if you pay cash instead of using your insurance.
Ask for Subsidizing
Do not be shy about asking the pharmaceutical companies to subsidize your expensive medicines. I have a daughter who has one prescription that is over $4,000.00 a month and she contacted the company to see if they could help with her copayment, which is higher than a car payment. They agreed.
Please remember to do what is right for your family. We are all in charge of our own health and welfare. These are my ideas to keep flu season under control in my house. Let’s stay healthy and be prepared for the unexpected. Please do your own research to do things to improve your immune system, you will be glad you did. I promise. Blessings, Linda
My Favorite Things
Immune system: AdobeStock_125720393 by Boygostockphotos