Getting the flu is unpleasant, to
say the least. You feel awful - achey,
chilled, feverish, fatigued, and more. It's
enough to make you want to curl up in a ball and
make the world go away.
So how can you reduce the chances
that you'll succumb? Here are some basic
strategies to be sure you've got in place.
1. Get Enough
There's absolutely no substitute for
getting enough sleep. No pill or potion exists that
can make up for it. Why is this?
Your body, unlike, say, a car or
other piece of machinery, is made to
But it cannot do this while it's
also functioning. In other words, it has to
go into a deeply neutral, non-activity state to
assess what needs repair and then to get the job
done. Sleep is when bones are built, for
example. It's also when your immune system
can use the energy you would expend in daytime
activities to devote to surveillance.
During sleep it asks, "What's in
here that doesn't belong, and let's attack it,
break it down and eliminate it." Inadequate
sleep translates to inadequate immune surveillance,
allowing unwanted flu bugs to take hold.
2. Maximize your
What does vitamin D have to do
with preventing the flu? Well, a lot, it
turns out. Various immune cells
have a vitamin D receptor, and those cells
activate vitamin D as a response to
Then, vitamin D plays another
role, which is that of limiting
inflammation. That may not sound like a
very important thing, but when you think about
how achey you can feel if you actually get the
flu, you'll be glad you remembered to
keep your vitamin D levels up so your body can
calm down the inflammatory response that's at
the root of all that pain.
3. Keep Your Body
Yes, of course, this includes
bathing and handwashing - no doubt you know about
that. What I'm talking about here is the
inside of your body.
Many people don't realize that the
inside of their body is actually in the same
condition as a toxic waste dump!
Why is this so important?
Because the role of these various infectious agents
in the larger scheme of things, in other words,
their ecological role, is to prepare the body
to return to the earth. And this is what
they start doing when they encounter a body that to
them seems like a compost heap that's waiting to be
The more garbage that's in your
body, the more these bugs will find to do.
And they'll move in, bring their friends and make
lots of babies!
To them, interior 'garbage' can
include undigested food, pesticides, chemicals -
anything the body needs to eliminate but has been
unable to do.
If you have a compost heap where you
live, you know that for the compost to become ripe,
requires 'bugs'... worms, bacteria, etc.
So don't run your body like a
compost heap. Keep it clean.
4. Get aerobic
How does this help? First it
gets you breathing deeply and clears your
lungs. But the biggest benefit is from its
positive effect on your immune system, where it
stimulates production of virus-fighting