Jillian uses affiliate links in this post, meaning she may get a commission for any purchases made using these links. Commissions go towards keeping this site active. For more information, please see her Privacy and Disclosure Policies page. Keep reading for some natural ways to fight against viruses.
10 Healthy things that fight against viruses
you can do every day!
This month will begin a series of posts full of healthy ideas and advice for things you can do for yourself and others during a quarantine. I am switching this blog from “lifestyle” to a “wellness”/”Self-care” niche for an indefinate amount of time. There will still be a post or two here and there about traveling, fashion, favorite new products, etc. This first post though, took me some work to research and write out. I have been spending some of my quarantine time working through a holistic remedies certification course, and it really came in handy for writing this post! There are many things you can do to fight against viruses, and this list is actually only a few!
As a big advocate of holistic health and alternative medicine, I have done a ton of research and tried many things myself for prevention of any type of sickness, and to keep my body well as a whole. Just another reason I finally decided to change from a lifestyle blog into a more holistic living focused wellness blog. Plus, “Balance & Blessings” still goes well with the holistic approach to health which focuses on balance of mind, body, and spirit!
You are also welcome to follow me along on Instagram @balance_and_blessings.
How to naturally fight against viruses: Why you need to stay healthy, not just “stay safe!”
(What you are not being told!)
Protecting yourself absolutely needs to be about more than just hand washing and staying inside! We really need to be building up our insides as well, especially our immune system. This is the system that protects against disease. While “Washing your hands and staying inside” may protect others, it will NOT protect nor build up your immune system! If you have a condition where your immune system is usually weakened, even more reason to do these healthy things for your body! I really wish people/the gov/healthcare shared ways to improve the HEALTH of our mind and bodies on social media just as much as “stay safe”.
*I am not a Dr., and cannot prescribe nor diagnose. However, I can suggest ways to keep yourself healthy from my personal experience and research. I am also taking a certication course in natural holistic remedies/nutrition, which has taught me a ton! FYI, many massage therapists are also certified in other alternative methods such as herbalists, yoga instructors, aromatherapists, nutritionists, and personal trainers. Either way we are trained to care about the whole body. The goal is to get it to the “ideal” state, not just hastily get rid of one little problem or fix one area.
I would strongly suggest finding some wellness professionals to follow such as holistic Doctors and nutrition coaches for advice. Family Doctors are all well and good, but these days they are not as knowledgable, or even aware of natural methods to protect the inside of our bodies! “Holistic” practitioners go beyond the disease, injury or ailment, focus on the person as a “whole” – mind, body, and soul. Here is also a reminder to in order to keep your mind positive during this time. Find some blogs or social media pages to follow from those who are spreading healthy, practical ideas. Do not forget to share them with others!!!
There are many things you can easily try yourself at home to fight against viruses!
1. Workout every day!
Working out not only boosts the immune system, but also releases endorphins which lifts your spirits. Working out several times a week, whether 15 minutes of running or other cardio, may relieve stress and tension. Great for mind, body, and spirit! I also prefer to end any cardio with yoga/stretching as a cool down to help bring my body and mind back into a relaxed state. Yoga also aids in pain relief, correcting body misalignments, and stress relief.
2. Rest well, but try to keep a routine!
Resting well is important to build immunity. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.
Resting well though may take some extra effort. In order to fall into the perfect sleep state that has you feeling well-rested, you may need to change your environment. Be sure your room is dark enough, and bed comfortable. Maybe it’s time for a new mattress or pillow! Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each morning. Getting extra rest and napping in is ok, but if you do this too often it may come back to bite you! Do not stray too far from the routine you had when you were working a job, so when you get back into it you are not totally thrown off and sluggish.
3. Eat nutritious meals that incorporate more fruits and veggies!
I know this one can be hard, but fruits and veggies provide many vitamins and nutrients your body may be lacking. Many are essential in order for the immune system to properly work. If you have trouble diving right into eating raw fruits and veggies, smoothies are a good way to start. Combine some baby spinach with yogurt or peanut butter and milk in a blender. Add honey or banana for sweetness and extra nutrients. You might also want to add some of the superfoods mention next!
4. Learn to use herbs and spices!
In case you did not know, herbs and spices are two different things. A herb is the green, leafy part of the plant. A spice can come from the root, stem, seed, fruit, flower or bark of the tree or plant. Many spices you normally would cook with can boost immunity levels and fight off viruses, infections and inflammation! Turmeric and ginger are spices that may already be in your pantry, and are popular for keeping the immune system strong. Some may also be available in tincture, tea, or pill form.
Herbs have been used as natural remedies since ancient times. Common kitchen herbs, such as basil, sage, and oregano, as well as lesser-known herbs like astragalus and sambucus, have powerful antiviral effects against numerous viruses that cause infections in humans. There are also herbs that you might see offered in either tincture, tea, or pill form. Echinacea is usually taken as a tincture. It is a powerful herb that stimulates the immune system to produce natural killer cells and other sickness-fighters.
5. Snack on immune system boosting superfoods!
“Superfoods” are mostly plant-based foods that contain a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Eggs, green tea, oats, and salmon are considered nutrient rich superfoods. Craving a snack? Instead of junkfood, try snacking on these superfoods: blueberries, walnuts, and again, fruits and veggies like broccoli!!! Fresh is best, but frozen will work too.
6. Take vitamins and supplements
If you are not sure where to start with these, at least figure out a good mutlivatamin for a start. Be sure to read the label, and take note of how often you need to take it, and whether it can be taken with meals or at a certain time of the day. Be sure you stick to the directions!
Sometimes bodies with higher metabolisms like mine do not manage to absorb a regular recommended does of certain vitamins and nutrients. If you suspect that might be your case, a Naturopathic Dr can quickly examine you and tell you!
7. Educate yourself on the latest research of treatments and self-treatments for conditions and sickness.
Did you know that Ibuprofen is bad for trying to treat the latest virus? Watch carefully what the wellness pros and researchers are saying about what the virus is made up of, and exactly how is transfers down to the cells. This may give you ideas on what you might want to try that is safe and effective against whatever sickness or disease you are preparing to fight! The usual recommendations of treating flu and colds with resting, eating well, and plenty of healthy fluids is always a good idea. But why wait until you think you are coming down with something? Start NOW.
8. Increase intake of HEALTHY fluids.
As I just mentioned in the point above, start drinking more healthy fluids. This may mean you need to stop or cut down on not so healthy fluids. Get rid of the caffinated drinks, and cut down on sugary stuff. Instead of TP, stock up on soup and healthy fluids you might need if you do get sick. I stocked up on Chicken Bone broth (another nutritious superfood) and teas. Drinks like this will help to cleanse your body, and allow the good stuff you really need to filter through to where it’s needed.
9. DO spend time outdoors!
Fresh air is healthy, and so is being in the sun! Give your skin the vitamins and oxygen it needs. Do not spend the whole quarantine thing inside where it may also make you feel gloomy and lazy. If nothing else, open your windows and let the sun and breeze in that way. If you are using this time to clean, be sure to open your windows anyway to let all the remaining chemicals in the air filter out, especially if you use heavy cleaners. BTW, see this post for suggestions on how to make your own healthy cleaners!
10. Make an effort to stay away from stressful subjects and things that make you angry.
Why? Stress and anger can directly influence how our body is physically feeling. Having stress and negative thoughts build up can really reak havoc both mentally and physically. This is epecially bad while being cooped up indoors while our bodies are sitting around out of our usual routines. Stress and anger can affect gut health, which is something that really needs to stay healthy in order to fight viruses and any other sickness! I especially notice this with my own digestive system. When I am upset, depending on whether it is anxiety or anger I either lose interest in eating, or get an upset tummy easily. Less screen time might be a good idea. Maybe this means taking a few days off from social media or watching the news.
*Bonus thing to try in the fight against viruses:
Himalayan pink salt!!!
Shortly after I started writing this post, it struck me how the latest virus targets the respitory system, yet since spas are closed everywhere there are no salt rooms to try. I also doubt hospitals use halotherapy for anything. At least I never heard of them doing so myself. Studies show a high intake of dietary salt weakens the immune system, however, Himalayan pink salt is different. It is usually inhaled by salt lamp or in a salt room. It is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, which aids in the elimination of germs and bacteria. This helps strengthen your immune system! Inhalation of dry pink salt can help with allergies, loosen mucus, clear sinuses, and with treating chronic bronchitis and asthma! I may write another post soon that solely fucuses on the benefits of salt and how to apply halotherapy.
For now, here is a personal testimony that explains why I believe in the power of Salt:
I have visited several salt rooms in a few spas, and one time I went I happened to have a terrible head cold that made it hard to breath. My nose was stuffy so much my head ached. I struggled to fall asleep at night. The second I walked into that salt room everything stopped! My head cleared, I could breath like normal again, and I felt great! It even lasted through the next two days, and then my cold disappeared! I really believe this was due to the 45 minutes inside that salt room. Maybe it will not work for everyone, but it sure worked for me!
It is also a good idea to take this time to check up on where your first aid kit, medications, vitamins, etc are kept, and make sure none has expired. If you are running low on anything, order more a little earlier than you usually do. I noticed Amazon took almost 2 weeks instead of the usual 2 days for me to get my last order, even though it had only two things I had ordered before from the same supplier.
I hope this post gave you some good advice for how to fight against viruses during this down time.
Thanks for reading!
#stayhealthy and #beprepared,
Tags: exercise, fight against a virus, herbs, holistic, holistic remedies, self-care, superfoods, viruses, vitamins, workout