The weather is finally starting to change in the Phoenix area. This is why we live in Arizona! But did you know that viruses that cause colds and flu thrive in the cooler weather? Colder temperatures can also lower the immune system’s response to viruses. Add back-to-school and holiday stress and your immune system can really take a hit. That’s why it’s important to boost the immune system as we move into fall and winter – even in Arizona!
Here are some immunity boosting tips to keep you healthy through seasonal changes:
Stay active – This is easy to do in our climate. If you’ve been hibernating throughout the hot summer, ease into outdoor activities. Stick to a schedule of regular, moderate exercise schedule of 30-45 minutes a day. This will help boost disease-fighting white blood cells, lower stress and keep you stronger overall.
Get enough sleep – Natural seasonal changes mean longer nights and shorter days. Your body may respond by needing more sleep and rest at this time. Research continues to show that restorative sleep has many health benefits, including increasing your ability to fight off colds and other viruses.
Eat vitamin-rich foods – Fall and winter holidays bring many unhealthy food choices. While it’s natural to want to indulge in some “comfort foods” and holiday treats at this time of year (Halloween candy, pumpkin spice lattes, pies and more!) maintaining an overall healthy diet with lots of nutrients will keep your immune system strong. Vitamins C, D and A are important for healthy immune function. Seasonal produce such as squash, yams and carrots are rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants. We are also lucky to have an abundance of citrus crops in Arizona – eat those oranges and grapefruits fresh from the tree! And of course, our beautiful winter sunshine provides Vitamin D to boost immunity. Overall, eat a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains to maintain your health.
Manage stress levels – Stress and other negative emotions can cause an elevated level of the hormone cortisol, which suppresses the immune system. One easy way to reduce stress and sooth the nervous system is with aromatherapy. There are many different essential oils and blends that can be used to enhance your health and boost immunity. Natural compounds found in Tea Tree Oil, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Rosemary, to name just a few, can help with cold symptoms, promote relaxation and support immune function. There are several different techniques that can be used for aromatherapy including direct inhalation, topical application, using an essential oil diffuser or creating a room misting spray.
Autumn often brings renewed energy and a desire for change after a long, hot summer. If you’re ready to take the next steps towards reducing stress and living a healthy lifestyle, please contact me to set up a free consultation.