Now that the weather is changing and the seasons have officially changed, it means it’s time for colds and the flu to go around. More and more people are going to get sick as you start to see more people around us coughing and sniffling. We’re also on high alert since the media is constantly trying to scare us with all the swine flu. As a Napa personal trainer I’ve found that now more than ever we should be protecting our bodies and building up our immune systems so they are super strong and can take on any foreign invader.

Unfortunately many of us have weakened immune systems, which have a lot to with how we are taking care of ourselves. We don’t always take into account our preexisting health when flu season comes around. Instead we’ll bypass eating healthy and exercising for quickly getting the flu shot and by that filling our bodies with harmful chemicals. But just by following some simple tips anyone can improve their immune system and drastically boost their recovery time if you should happen to get sick.

1. Sleep More – Sleep has been proven to help our bodies recover better than anything out there. All the supplements in the world can’t replace a good natural night’s sleep. Anybody who hasn’t gotten a good night’s sleep will tell you how bad they feel. Free radicals are roaming our bodies causing chaos and sleeping is a great way to naturally detox and recover the body. What the researchers say about getting eight hours of sleep is true, also be sure that you’re not going to bed too late. When you fall asleep at one in the morning and wake up at nine you’re getting the full eight hours of sleep but you’re bodies natural rhythms are thrown off. Instead try getting to bed by ten thirty at the latest.

2. No More Sweet Stuff – What I’m talking about here is sugar and other artificial sweeteners such as Splenda which cause much chaos in the body and effectively weaken the immune system and also cause weight gain. Researchers have discovered that those who consumed sugar developed a weakened immune system for about eight to twelve hours after. They also found those who did not eat the sugar destroyed fourteen times more bacteria in their bodies.

3. Hydrate Yourself – Drinking enough water isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact consuming at least half your body weight in fluid ounces daily can be a challenge for many. Since our bodies are mostly made of water it is imperative to constantly replenish one of our main resources. Just falling down to one or two percent dehydration can cause a downgrade in performance. So next time you’re feeling thirsty make sure you drink that water. Try staying away from smoothies and fruit juices and just stick with good old natural cool water.

4. Get The Stress Out – Stress is one of those things that can’t always be avoided because we all have crazy busy lives. Constantly stressing out our bodies can be taxing on our organs and hormones. If any of you have heard of cortisol than you know its powerful effects on the body from weight gain, to blood sugar imbalances, to adrenal fatigue. Just because you are stressed that doesn’t always mean it’s a bad thing. Being busy and having a lot of things going on can easily leave you stressed out. It’s always a good idea to take that you time and get some much needed rest now and then.

5. Break A Sweat Every Day – Exercising is our body’s natural way of strengthening ourselves. By breaking a sweat through exercise you know you’re pushing your body outside of its comfort zone. This doesn’t mean you have to confide yourself to a gym every day but even going for a brisk walk or jogging with your dog can be great for you. Exercising is great for your immune system but also will help you lose weight and feel great.