Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to research ALL THE THINGS about health and wellness! I truly believe educating yourself about this topic is empowering. When we're proactive about our health choices it helps to ensure that we're making the best possible decisions for ourselves and our families ANYTIME. I've put together a list of 10 ways that I believe are important in helping to stay above the wellness line. Many of these are things I've been doing for years. A few of them I've recently learned about and will be implementing asap. I believe that putting these practices into place will help to give me peace of mind —knowing that I am doing the best that I can for the health of myself and my family! It will help me to continue to live life free! So let's get on to the 10 ways....
1. KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN!
Hand washing is super important to keep hands clean. It helps stop the spread of unwanted germs. However, make sure to use plain soap without fragrances (which can contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene), synthetic colors and other synthetic chemicals like SLS and 1,4-Dioxane. These chemicals are harmful to your immune and endocrine systems and can also be carcinogenic. DO NOT use antibacterial soaps either! These soaps can actually kill the good bacteria you need to help fight off the junk that's going around. The bad bacteria that do survive can actually get stronger and become harder to kill and they can make you more resistant to antibiotics. Kind of counterproductive if you ask me. Choose a more natural soap with minimal ingredients. Scrubbing hands properly (paying careful attention to palms & finger tips) for at least 20 seconds before rinsing is effective to kill germs. There are many good soaps available that are effective yet safe. 2. Use Hand Sanitizer when necessary.
We all know washing our hands with soap and water is important to help stop the spread of germs. However, sometimes we don't always have access to facilities with soap and water. In those cases the use of a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a good alternative. Use one that has no synthetic fragrance and or antibacterial chemicals added. Added fragrances and chemicals can actually weaken your immune system and can also cause hormone/endocrine disruption as well as other issues. I don't recommend DIY hand sanitizers. They may not be strong enough to meet CDC guidelines (60% + or more alcohol) for killing germs and bacteria and they can also be unsafe. Additives are added to rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol & denatured —ethyl alcohol) which has one or more toxic chemicals added to it (denaturants) to make it bitter so people don’t drink it —poisonous. Those ingredients can also be dangerous if absorbed through the skin and can irritate your hands. Most hand sanitizers available on the market have been tested for their effectiveness against killing germs. When we make our own we have no way of knowing if it's truly effective or not. I personally would rather use something that is proven effective. There are many natural and organic hand sanitizer/purifier options available that ARE effective against killing germs.
3. Get a good night's sleep.
Getting a good night's sleep is very important for overall health. Your body heals itself while you sleep. It needs sleep to repair, regenerate, and recover from all the things you put it through. Sleep helps to manage weight loss, fight inflammation and retain memory, and it is also very important to keep your immune system functioning properly. Sleep helps to keep your T cells strong so they can fight off infections and illnesses. Some people's bodies need more sleep than others too so shooting for at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night is a good place to start. If you have trouble sleeping there are a number of natural options that you can add to your bedtime routine to help you get a restful night's sleep.
4. Support Healthy Emotions.
Supporting healthy emotions is very important in helping to maintain your overall wellness. Your emotions and immune system are intricately connected. Both the immune & emotional systems are used to adjust dynamically to the ever-changing conditions of your external environment. According to one study, research has found that stress and negative emotions can greatly affect how the immune response functions. Stress can over stimulate the immune system, resulting in inflammation and an increased risk of autoimmune diseases. To help combat stress and negative emotions, learn to set healthy boundaries. Remove negativity and toxic situations when possible. Practice activities that help you to stay calm and positive… get outside, pray/meditate, speak positive daily affirmations, use calming and stress relieving essential oils, go out with some friends, read a book, exercise, do deep breathing exercises. Practice breathing exercises which can actually make your lungs work more efficiently and can help fight aging and disease. If you need to, make sure to talk with a friend, spiritual advisor or therapist about your feelings. Feelings buried alive never die. If left to fester they can manifest themselves as dis-ease within the body. 5. Take quality Vitamins & Supplements.
Due to poor nutrition ...as well as some other factors... many people today are deficient in important vitamins and minerals which can have a negative effect on the immune system. Many also suffer from gut issues. Our gut is where 70-80% of the immune system is housed. We need the gut to function properly so the immune system can do its job. For this reason it's important to replenish the vitamins and minerals we may be lacking as well as taking supplements to help heal the gut. Vitamins and supplements contain antioxidants which help prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. High levels of free radicals can cause bodily harm and is linked to multiple illnesses. Antioxidants can be found in many things like natural botanicals, juice drinks as well as elderberry syrup and they are even in bone broth [Do a Google search for Natural Antioxidants: Sources]. Choosing high quality vitamins/supplements from whole foods and natural sources are best. The body can easily use and absorb (bio-available) the nutrients in those vitamins/supplements more efficiently and fully VS vitamins/supplements that are in a non bio-available and or synthetic form. If you're absorbing little to none of the nutrients you're literally just flushing money down the toilet —you get what you pay for. Some important vitamins/supplements for immune support and gut health are Liposomal Glutathione, Vitamin C, B Vitamin complex that includes folate (NOT folic acid), Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Iron, Selenium, Zinc and a good Probiotic. 6. Eat a Healthy Diet.
Eat healthy whole foods [organic whenever possible]. Choose fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and beta carotene as well as vitamin A, B, C and E which can help to increase immune function. Eat lean healthy cuts of meat and wild caught fish. Cut out the junk! Avoid artificial preservatives, sugar, carbs, processed and deep fried foods which are all acidic and can wear the immune system down. Try making smoothies with fresh fruit and veggies and no added sweeteners. Add fermented foods to your diet which is very beneficial to gut health. Eating a healthy whole food diet not only helps to fuel your body the best way but, it also helps to keep your body alkaline. Diseases, viruses and bacteria can flourish in an acidic body —they cannot survive in an alkaline environment. 7. Drink Water.
Water is essential to all life. We need it to survive and thrive. Did you know that 60% of your body is made up of water? Your cells, organs, and tissues all use water. Drinking plenty of fresh clean water not only hydrates the body and helps aid in digestion but it is also important for keeping your immunity up. It helps to flush out toxins and other bacteria and as a result helps to keep infections or illnesses away. Water also helps to carry oxygen to the cells which in return helps all the systems function properly. It also helps to regulate your body temperature. Get a good water filtration system that takes out harmful bacteria and contaminates but leaves in the good minerals the body needs. We love our Berkey! 8. Exercise.
We need to keep our bodies moving, the body was made to move. Moving the body everyday helps keep the body agile, it's good for our mental health, and it keeps blood pumping and the lymphatic system circulating so the body can eliminate waste and toxins. Movement also helps to increase energy while regulating digestion as well as elimination. A number of studies have shown that a strong immune system goes hand-in-hand with being fit so getting moderate exercise is good for your immune system too. Getting too much vigorous exercise however can suppress the immune system. Not big on going to a gym? That's OK, me neither. You can take the kids to the park or go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride, or maybe just do the stairs a few times to get your blood pumping!
9. Avoid alcohol & cigarettes.
Most people know that alcohol and cigarettes are bad for them. Not only can excessive alcohol cause liver issues and smoking can cause respiratory issues and cancer —they both can wear down the immune system. Drinking alcohol can also disrupt the delicate balance of the gut allowing bacteria to pass through. It can also damage bone marrow, where blood cells are made. Cigarettes cause inflammation and can lower our white blood count making one susceptible to illness and disease. For this reason it's important to avoid or at least limit alcohol consumption and avoid cigarette smoking. 10. Avoid toxic products.
Avoid pollutants... especially in personal care, laundry and cleaning products. Breathing in harmful chemicals can damage the lungs and wear down the immune system. Studies have shown that regular and prolonged use of popular cleaning sprays that contain ammonia, bleach, and a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can have an impact on lung health that is comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day! Yikes! Remember too that what goes on your body ends up inside your body. Using products that contain harmful synthetic chemicals and or fragrances found in many of the products we use everyday can have damaging effects on the nervous & respiratory systems as well as the endocrine system. Make sure you know what’s in the products you use. If the ingredients aren't listed... DON'T USE IT! Educate yourself on what ingredients are safe and not safe. Use healthy non-toxic personal care, laundry care and cleaning products. When you implement these 10 things into your daily routine you are choosing to be proactive and support your body which is a really smart thing to do. 😊 We are blessed to have so many great options to help keep ourselves and our families well. Curious about what products we use and recommend? Sign up for our email list HERE to learn more!
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