Monday, February 3, 2020

List: How to keep your immune system strong with ten simple steps.

Up until last month, I've been proud to say that I couldn't relate to any lung illnesses.  Aside from the common cold, I've managed to keep the germs at bay.  If you know me, then you know keeping any type of germs or sickness away is a huge win!

At the age of 31, I went from an example of health to being diagnosed with pneumonia.  I was completely shocked with diagnosis, the chest x-rays, and some very scary days.  There were some mornings that I felt like I was drowning to death in my own mucus.  A month later, and I still can't laugh without a coughing fit or getting winded.  I have a new found respect for people with any type of lung condition.  To not be able to breathe properly is a horrible type of torture.

It was so bad that I turned my second follow up appointment into a conversation about prevention.  My doctor listed many tips for me to avoid contamination in the future.
...and I wrote them all down in my composition notebook...

how to keep raise your immune system

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Ten ways to keep your immune system strong.

1.  Ensure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
It's very important to get an adequate amount of sleep each night in order to keep your immune system up and for other reasons.  My doctor recommended 8 hours.  Sleep not only refreshes your energy levels for the next day, but it helps your immune system.  I fail miserably at this.  I go to bed late because of life, am up all night with the kiddies, and wake up at 4!

Idea:  To help relax at night and unwind so that I'm able to fall asleep easily, I drink a hot cup of this Calm Chamomile tea.  Not only does this ritual help me sleep, but it keeps some of my stomach issues at bay.

2.  Find time to relax during the day.
My doctor says it doesn't have to be long, but long enough for your mind to reset.  He acknowledges that we're busy and always on the go, but it's important to stop and breathe.  I also fail at this.  Maybe I could rest if I locked myself inside a bathroom or closet?

3.  Maintain a healthy weight.
This goes both ways.  It's not good to be overweight and just as bad to be underweight.  Maintaining a healthy balance keeps your immune system strong and your figure fabulous!

4.  Maintain a nutritious diet.
A good weight doesn't always mean you're getting your vitamins.  Ensure that you're eating a good amount of variety daily to maintain a nutritious diet.  We all know that vitamin C is important, but minerals and protein are just as important to health!  

Note:  My doctor surprisingly discouraged the consumption of orange juice.  He prefers we eat an actual orange since the sugar count in orange juice is just so high.

5.  Take a daily vitamin.
Sometimes a nutritious diet just isn't enough.  A daily vitamin will help you get the vitamins that you aren't consuming.  For example, I have a vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency, and I do some clean eating.  To make up for this deficiency, I take a daily vitamin that's more concentrated in these areas.

Idea:  Whatever vitamin you choose, ensure that it's a reputable and effective vitamin by speaking with a pharmacist or doctor.  I've been using this one and LOVE it, but you should still check with your doctor.  Since being on the vitamin, I've also noticed a surge in my energy levels and stamina.

6.  Go to the doctor at the onset of a condition.
Many of us wait too long to see the doctor.  Thank you, overpriced health care that covers NOTHING!  Eat the bill and go see the doctor when you feel under the weather.  The visit may not only save your health, but be cost effective in the long run.

7.  Don't take un-prescribed prescription medications.
Self diagnosing is not an actual diagnosis which means you could be self prescribing something bad.  As a rule, never take medicine that wasn't specifically prescribed to you by a health professional.  By self-prescribing my daughter's cough meds, I suppressed a cough that was needed to cough up the gunk!

8.  Wash your hands and everything else often.
My doctor believes that washing your hands often is key.  Sometimes the germs are hiding on a door knob, your phone, or even your keys.  If you've gone a while without a quick wash, go give your hands a good cleaning.  This will help your immune system defend your body from yuckies!

Idea:  Avoid antibacterial soap to avoid becoming immune to it.  Opt for moisturizing soap like this one instead.  It will leave your hands feeling soft and will have the same effect.

9.  Manage your stress level.
You may feel stress mentally, but you not always physically.  My doctor said that high stress leads to a run down body which causes a dip in the immune system.  To keep your immune system strong, try coming up with reasonable ways to managing your mental health.  Another thing I'm totally guilty of.  Unfortunately, Dr. G. had no tips on how to reduce a mother's stress!

10.  Above all else, stay away from vape and smoke!
It's important to avoid any type of foreign substance from hitting your lungs in order to keep your immune system strong.  This includes second hand smoke or vape which can we be just as harmful to your body.  One battle with pneumonia, may be enough to scare you away from smoking or smokers!

How do you maintain your immune system?


  1. Great advice. I'm militant about hand washing and healthy eating, along with exercise. I just found out I'm vitamin d deficient, so starting up on the supplement. I'm also a big fan of green tea. I haven't had a cold since 2011.

    1. That used to be me! Then my son entered day care and I can't remember the last time I woke up without feeling some sort of way. Green tea is supposed to be very good for you, yet I tend to opt for Chamomile tea, especially at the end of the day.

  2. I think I might have problems with lungs in the future because of my heart disease, but I usually choose not to think about it.
    My problem is that I drink the vitamins, eat veggies and fruit and seeds etc. but I'm a fat slob who hates exercise (which my heart won't let me do either) so I'm not as active as I should be. I will die a lazy walrus. I haven't had a cold or a flu for a decade or more. But work kills people too and plus you have kids to take care of every day, and the body suffers. Just try to eat veggies and fruits (or at least make a smoothie every day and take it with you) and also take at least 5-10 tsp of seeds a day, you can grind them in the morning in put in your porridge, milk, smoothie, over your salad, whatever - sesame, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chia etc. It has all the vitamin B and other groups as well, but we do need sun for vitamin D and I hate me sun.

    1. I didn't realize that you had heart disease. That must be so scary to live with. My daughter has two heart conditions. They are mild. but it still scares me every day.
      I need to start incorporating seeds in my diet! My grandma always said that seeds were bad for you. She even scrapes them off of her bread because she thinks they lead to intestinal infections. Although, I do a love a good sunflower seed smothered in salt.
      Are you able to do any type of strengthening exercises? I'm not big on cardio, but I make sure I get all my squats in by the days end. You'd be surprised what's considered exercise too. After a day of scrubbing the house, you'll feel like you ran a marathon! I went to the doctor freaking out about lumps in my belly. When I showed them to him, he laughed at me and said "You have what your generation calls a sick pack. Those aren't lumps, they're abs!" I did nothing to get those ridges in my stomach other than leg lifts and daily activity. (Although I would prefer the ugly ridges in my belly to go away.. lol) & don't call yourself a fat slob! I highly doubt you're either of the two. :)

  3. Sadly, I do, I'll die from it one day sooner or later, probably sooner than later LOL especially as I live in very stressful surroundings. I should escape to an isolated island, but shouldn't we all?
    Seeds have everything you need, even all those things you can only find in the most expensive of fish. And they are shockingly cheap!
    That sounds like a typical crazy grandma :) they told us we would die if we drink water after eating cherries LOL
    Hooray for the abs, I have them too but mine are oversized because I cannot relax them, they are constantly working while I'm awake.
    I do all the work in the house myself as I don't have a butler, and plus about 10 to 12 hours of real work every day, but my job is a sitting job. I need a hot hunk to take me out for a daily walk like a dog.

    1. I'm going to have to invest in some seeds. In fact, I could use some right now as I'm looking for an afternoon pick me up and only have a spare cough drop. lol

      Are a butlers a real thing? Well, I'm assuming you'd need to be ridiculously rich to afford one if they still exist. We do the work ourselves too, but I tend to enjoy. I find cleaning very relaxing. My favorite is folding laundry. Funny you mention a hot hunk for a daily walk, because that's how I met my husband! I would go for a walk around the building I worked in from 3-3:30 PM every day. He saw me and would come up with excuses to join the walk. The rest is history!

    2. Actually, grandma wasn't that crazy. Those of us with IBD are advised to steer clear of seeds (even in fruit such as strawberries) because they are hard to digest and cause inflammation in our intestines. But for those with healthy guts, it's encouraged to eat them for their nutritional properties.

    3. I see, glad to know she isn't that crazy. My grandma does suffer from ulcers. I wonder if she was advised to stay away from seeds like you and has made us all avoid them for it? lol My favorite is when she buys seeded break just to scrape off the seeds. They do make seedless Italian bread, but it apparently doesn't taste the same... SMH

  4. haha didn't I tell you you need to relax? But oh no, can't do that. Geez, even a cat knows what you need to do. Sad.

    Hand washing I'm huge on, so good here. And yeah, blah to smoking. I have to stab myself to get b12 these days, as my stupid body doesn't absorb much. And as far as daily vitamins go, take em only if you need em. Otherwise you are just peeing them out.

    1. You did, but it seems almost psychically impossible for me. I'm supposed to be slowing down and enjoying life, but it isn't working out for me as well as I would have liked it to.

      Ugh to the B12 shots. You really think you pee out all of your vitamins? They make my kiddies take chewable vitamins, so I've been stealing one of theirs each night. They taste like candy. :)

    2. haha you need to MAKE it work.

      Oh, you do. Especially if you get extra b vitamins, your pee shall turn greenish

  5. Those are all good points, but some of them are awfully hard to achieve with children in the house. How to manage your stress? My mother-in-law told me years ago that when one of her children was teething and everyone was exhausted and on edge, the doctor told her to buy a bottle of whiskey, rub some on the baby's gums, and drink the rest herself. I call that stress management.


    1. Awfully hard should be changed to impossible. I'm waiting for the secret answer on how not to stress all day. We can't even confine the babies to a little area because their cries would be the next thing to stress us out.

  6. After we got back from NY last summer, I had the worst cough that I couldn't shake for over a month. It was pure hell. Nothing worked that they prescribed, but when my colitis flared, the on call doc gave me steroids which finally helped knock that nasty cough away. Sorry that you are having breathing issues. It's the worst!

    1. Maybe the lingering coughs are a NY thing? lol I hope not! I already took 2 steroids and they've done nothing for me, but I'm glad that they worked for you. Stay healthy, the Winter stretch is almost done. )

  7. Multivitamins are certainly good for making sure you don't miss anything.

    1. Yup, I'm popping one a day and hoping to keep the doctor away!

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