With winter comes a new slew of stressors. The holidays, shorter days, cold weather, midterms and flu season all combine with other life stressors of the season to create weakened immune systems. Boosting immunity isn’t as simple as taking a supplement, not when so many factors come into play. These winter immunity tips go beyond the common and cover all aspects of one’s mental and physical well being with a focus on body, mind and spirit.
Good health is more than just a healthy body
Chiropractor, Dr. Michael Gottfried reiterates the importance of each individual’s body, mind, spirit connection in addressing immunity.
“Think in terms of enhancing your mind, body, and spirit (known as psychoneuroimmunology),” he said. “Try some of the following suggestions and see what works for you. But keep in mind that due to ‘biologic individuality,’ one size does not fit all.”
Winter immunity tips for body, mind and spirit
Body: Try for at least 30 minutes of exercise, four times a week, Dr. Gottfried said. Ideally that would include aerobic, flexibility, and strength components. There is no need to break the bank to get active. Exercise can be as simple as walking, biking, swimming, a zoom yoga or zumba class, or joining a fitness club.
Mind: Good mental health can support immunity, so Dr. Gottfried recommends keeping your mind stimulated to boost immunity. Doing fulfilling work, full or part time or volunteering your services are ways to keep active. Reading books, magazines, or other on-line learning programs, like learning a new language can keep us stimulated and our minds fresh. Even listening to music can support immunity according to a 2021 study published in Brain, behavior and immunity health. A Japanese study from 2016 found that the mental benefits of laughter therapy has a positive effect on the immune system. However, try to keep your screen time limited to half hour sessions followed by a stretch break.
Spirit: Are you meditating daily? Meditation is about quieting the mind, going within and listening to your inner voice. Deepak Chopra’s Stress Series is one example, but there are many other teachers, like Marianne Wiliamson, Jon Kabat Zinn, who offer many possibilities for meditation support.
The Journal of Clinical Psychology Review published in 2010 that gratitude is closely linked to health and well-being. Before going to sleep, try keeping a gratitude journal to write down a few of the joyful things that happened in your day.
Stay happy, healthy and successful this winter!
Try any one of these suggestions for 30 days and you will build a habit pattern that will allow you to move forward on the road to health.
Most importantly, don’t forget to spread the love by staying in touch with people.
Dr. Michael Gottfried has been a chiropractic physician for 40 years; currently practicing at Aquidneck Chiropractic, Middletown, RI. In 2014, he was named a Top Doc by RI Monthly Magazine. He was named him “Chiropractor of the Year” in 2016 by the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island and again in 2018 by TOP Education Massachusetts.