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how to support your immune system through movement and mood

There are many ways to support your immune system, but did you know that one way you can support it is through movement? Keep reading to find out why moving your body will keep you healthy.  

As a trainer, of course I am always recommending movement to others. Movement can look different for everyone. For some it can be a walk or run, strength train or bodyweight exercises and for others it can be yoga or dance. The one thing about all those forms is that it keeps the body moving. Movement helps strengthen the immune system which will in turn help it fight off any illnesses or disease. In addition to that it also brings much needed oxygen to the blood and body. 

And speaking of oxygen, developing a deep breathing practice is also important. It isn’t just about taking a big inhale and exhale. It’s actually sitting with your breath, inhaling deep so that you feel the lungs and ribs expand, then feel them contract on the exhale. Shallow breathing (aka chest breathing) requires more breaths and can often leave you feeling out of breath and can give off an anxious feeling. 

Try this: sit comfortably and close your eyes. Place both hands just where the lower ribs end and inhale deeply for a count of 4 or 5. Hold for 2 counts and then release for another 4 to 5 counts. Repeat that for a few minutes and see how you feel. This is personally how I start all my mornings.

Let’s chat about our moods and the effects that it has on our health. The best way that I have heard it described is ‘the issues are in the tissues’. What this means is that your body is constantly absorbing all the emotions we go through on the daily. The brain is so smart and stores our reactions and emotions so that when that situation or something similar comes up again, it will remember how we reacted and our body will respond. So if you’re experiencing situations that cause you a lot of stress, over time this will wear the immune system down. It’s important to have a few go to stress management techniques so that you can be more proactive instead of reactive. 

Try this: rather than being reactive to a situation, take a moment to process what is happening and take a few deep breathes. Some helpful questions to ask in that moment are why am I being triggered? What do I know to be true in this moment? Do I want to be right or do I want peace? Give this a try and see how it goes. 

Lastly, to keep the mood positive and vibrations high, set an intention for your day every morning. Make a declaration ‘today I choose to have an amazing day.’ Notice how I said choose? That’s because it truly is a choice to have a great day or not. You have that power. 

Try this: to ensure that you will have a great day and maintain a positive attitude, always pull gratitude into it. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for and why. This will help shift the mind and emotions back into a high vibrating state. Try making this into a daily practice ☺

Tiana Pollari, RHN, CPT
@tianapollari
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