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How to Stay Well This Winter

November 12th, 2021 / Functional Medicine

 

It’s confusing. So much health “news,” so many people so sure of one thing or another, so much controversy, so many contradictions–it’s no wonder people don’t know what to think. But if you want to avoid catching a virus this winter (whether the cold, the flu, or, well…you know) your best source of information probably isn’t the media clamor. The media is full of opinions, both expert and amateur, but there is one indisputable truth about the immune system: The healthier you are, the better you’ll be able to fight off infections. Your best chance of getting through flu season without too much suffering is to build a strong foundation of health that will support your immune system.

The whole purpose of the immune system is to keep you from getting sick, and to heal you when you get sick or injured. Your immune system is naturally very good at this—if it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be so many of us! Your immune system is a complex biochemical masterpiece of defense and repair, involving intricate interactions throughout your body that help you destroy viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and other pathogens that threaten your health and survival, all without you knowing it’s happening.

But the truth is, you have quite a lot of control over what your immune system is doing. There is no more powerful influence on the immune system than lifestyle. Specifically, what you eat, how much you move, how well you sleep, how much water you drink, and how well you maintain social connections all influence immune health in various ways. Yet, these are exactly the things many people have compromised over the past year, while staying in, stressing out, and keeping their distance from other people. How you live is up to you, however, so let’s see if we can inspire you to make lifestyle decisions that are in the best interest of your immune system.

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