For many of us in Arizona, fall is a welcomed change. We get to enjoy the cooler days, the scenic drives through Oak Creek Canyon to see nature’s array of the tree’s changing leaves, the fresh apple cider, and the return of Monday (and Thursday and Sunday) Night NFL football; but for many others, the change of season also comes with the not so welcomed (and often dreaded), “cold and flu season.”

You have probably noticed that local pharmacies are already offering flu shots with “incentives” to earn deep discounts on other in store purchases. I will let you decide if this is brilliant marketing or something else. I am not anti-vaccine, but this onslaught of “in your face” advertisement can be very disturbing and actually incites fear and confusion for many people. For the vast number of you that elect to delay or avoid flu shot all together, it is important to know that there are many options that provide safe, effective and inexpensive means to help prevent or minimized colds and flus altogether. I recommend that you consider all your options. So for now, here are some of the most common

Cold and Flu Tips to Help You in the Months Ahead:

Do…eat a real food or whole food diet. Locally grown Organic and

GMO-free produce are generally best because they will provide you with the most bioavailable nutrients. These foods are generally picked ripe and are just good “medicine.”

Don’t…eat highly refined or processed foods. These foods are nutritionally void of nutrients or have to be “enriched” with nutrients that are synthetic or manufactured from cheap sources that rarely meet the needs of our bodies. They often have very high amounts of sugar/corn syrup, artificial flavorings, dyes and fillers that further add to the burden on your body.

Do…get adequate sleep and rest. Sleep is the time our bodies recover and heal. It is important to have healthy sleep habits and maintain regular sleep and wake times for optimal health. This is common sense for most of us but follow through is poor. Good sleep hygiene is important, too.

Don’t…burn the midnight oil or fall asleep with the television or computer on. All of these electronics can adversely affect your ability to enter deep restorative sleep patterns ultimately affecting your body’s innate healing and repair mechanism.

Do…exercise and move your body. Our vascular and lymphatic systems contain a great deal of our immune cells, and we need to move our bodies to help keep our immunity and defenses healthy. Walking, bouncing on a rebounder or mini trampoline are simple ways to maintain your health.

Add in some daily dry body brushing at the first signs of cold and flu symptoms.

Don’t…become a couch potato. With less daily sunlight, cooler temperatures, and busy family schedules many people can find excuses and quickly loose motivation to maintain healthy routines. Don’t allow the demands of the world to overwhelm you. Prioritize your time and schedule exercise into your daily routines.

Do…maintain good hygiene. Wash your hands. It is the most violated rule in disease prevention. Enough said.

Don’t…forget to wash your hands.

Do…optimize your vitamin D levels. There are several studies that do indicate that optimal levels of vitamin D help to increase immune defenses and minimize the incidence of cold and flu symptoms.

Don’t…guess at how much vitamin D you need. Getting your vitamin D levels tested is highly recommended and can be done with routine blood work ordered by your physician or through our office.

The information contained in this article is for information and education purposes only and is not medical advice. Do not use this information as an alternative to obtaining medical advice from your physician or other professional healthcare provider. Always consult with your physician or other professional healthcare provider about any medical conditions you are experiencing. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, contact your local emergency services for help.

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