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Creative Ways to Boost Your Immune System, Stay Healthy in the New Year

immune system

This time of year is often filled with wholesome fun and festivities. It can also lead to unhealthy eating habits and less time or motivation for physical fitness. Experts suggest getting creative to boost your immune system, maintain your health, and enjoy the holiday season. 

Balance your body, relax your mind, add a few fine needles, and your immune system will get just the boost it needs to thrive, says Elizabeth M. Martin, a Stony Brook-based licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, certified light leader, and Kundalini coach. 

Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that entails inserting fine needles through the skin at strategic points on the body. Located on the outside of the leg about four fingers from the bottom of the knee, acupuncture point name Stomach 36, addresses stomach energy. “If you press on this acu pressure point while taking 5-10 deep belly breaths, you’ll help to facilitate the flow of the energy in order to improve your body’s natural immunity,” advises Martin. Chinese herbs, such as astralagus root, may help to “increase B lymphocytes, which in turn boosts the immune system by creating more fighter cells to attach pathogens within the body,” she adds. 

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“When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced,” Martin says. She recommends the meditation Immune System Booster: The Inner Sun to boost the immune system. Martin also recommends Kundalini yoga which, according to a 2018 study by the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, concluded that eight weeks of this activity lowered participants’ anxiety levels.

Exercise improves circulation and reduces inflammation. Even moderate but regular exercise strengthens your immune system, says Heather Kosky, a certified master personal trainer in Holbrook. “With the cooler weather upon us and the beautiful change in scenery, it’s a great time to get out for some outdoor exercise. A 20-30 minute walk, hike, or bike ride out in nature a day is a heartwarming way to boost your immune system.”

Get creative while eating healthy, says Michelle Walrath, founder and CEO of Organic Krush’s several Long Island locations. Vitamin C is key in fighting off viruses, she says. “Upon rising, squeeze a half of a fresh lemon into your water so that your system wakes up and feels the support of all that vitamin C. Foods like lemons, oranges, and  kiwis can be made into fresh-pressed juices, as well as squeezed into your water.” Top your salad with fresh squeezed orange juice plus olive oil and sea salt, she suggests. “Delicious, bright and immune boosting!”

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