“Wow! I didn’t know working from home would be this hard” is what I heard recently from one of my patients. Because of the coronavirus requirement to work from home, instead of her usual office setting, she was feeling challenged. I’ve heard similar remarks from other patients, in my chiropractic office. This article will discuss some of the challenges and inconveniences that occur when working from home, as opposed to the office. It will also give some ideas on how to improve a home-based working situation.
Since most children are not allowed to attend their brick and mortar schools and daycare, they are home also. If you do not have someone at home to watch them, they may be underfoot and distracting you. You might be worried that they can be heard or seen in the background if you are communicating with others by telephone or online. Know that you are not alone. Many others are also working from home. They are in the same situation and can empathize with you and understand what you’re going through. They will be lenient and may in fact, find it charming and amusing to know a bit more about your family life.
Many of us have an excellent ergonomic space at our office – not so much at home. Make sure you designate a specific place in your home to be your “office.” It may be an extra bedroom, the kitchen table or rec room. It should not be sitting on the couch, in an awkward position, hunched over your laptop. You may have to experiment as to which location in your house is best for you.
One of my patients told me she has a variable, upright desk at her office, which she loves. Upon working her first three days at home, without an upright desk, she was noticing increased neck and upper back pain. She contacted her company and they sent a technician out to set up a variable desk at her home. So, make sure you have the equipment, space and set up you need.
Another patient told me he seemed to be working a lot more hours since working remotely from home. It is important to set regular hours, similar to your regular office schedule. Make sure to get up, stretch and walk around regularly. Take your usual lunch break. Shut down and leave work just like you would when you leave your office at days end.
Certainly, working at home will not be the same as being in your office. But, with a little tolerance, experimentation and planning it does not have to be difficult and can suffice for the time being.
With the current worldwide virus health concern, we are all looking for ways to stay healthy. A prudent route to take is to make our bodies as strong and resistant to sickness as possible. This boils down to improving and strengthening our own natural immune systems. We can all take commonsense measures to, individually, eat better and improve our diets and gain a nutritional advantage. This article will discuss some foods to avoid and others to consume to strengthen our immune systems.
Foods to avoid:
Avoid sugar, sweets and an excessive amount of grains like cereal, pasta and bread. These all contain carbohydrates which, when digested, cause high blood sugar. They also cause the body to become acidic. High blood sugar and an acidic environment weakens the immune system.
Avoid traditional dairy cow’s milk. Many people are unable to digest lactose, which is a sugar, in traditional milk. Too much lactose exposure can increase inflammation in the body and weaken the immune system. Alternative forms of milk that are low in lactose are almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk. Try these individually to determine which taste you prefer. Some people are able to digest dairy cow milk if it is fermented, such as cheese and yogurt and can be experimented with on a case to case basis.
Avoid high gluten foods. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains. Gluten may not be digested well by many people and can create an allergic sensitivity when consumed. This sensitivity can interfere with our immune system. Wheat is the one food that has the highest concentration of gluten and is best avoided. Oats and rice do not contain gluten and are recommended, safe grains.
Foods to consume:
Consume good fats. Fat is misunderstood and is an important food for our body. All of our hormones (thyroid, insulin, adrenaline, estrogen, testosterone) need fat for their production. Each of our body’s cells contain fat in the cell wall. Our brains contain a high amount of fat. We can help our immune systems immeasurably by consuming good fats. Examples of these fats are coconut oil, olive oil and flax seed oil. Vegetable oil is not a fat that is recommended.
Eat cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are those such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. This category of food is vitally important in eliminating toxic metabolites. They help to purify our digestive system and, in turn, strengthen our immunity.
Most football fans have heard the phrase: “The best defense is a good offense.” Avoiding certain foods and consuming others is among best ways to strengthen our immune system and resist disease.
The spring of 2020 will be known through all of history as a very stressful perod. Earlier today, an acquaintance of mine said: “We are living through an historic time.” To say the least, it is a very stressful time. Due to the coronavirus and disruptions in our everyday lives, the economy and inconveniences our health may be at risk. This article will discuss 5 ways to strengthen our immune systems and counteract the effects of stress on our bodies.
When we are injured, sick or under stress our body creates inflammation. We all know that if we sprain our ankle it gets swollen and inflamed. If we get a respiratory virus our sinuses react with a runny nose, sneezing and coughing. When we are under excessive stress, we produce inflammatory chemicals called cortisol and catecholamines. If inflammation is limited to a short-term, time frame we will recover and heal. However, if inflammatory chemicals linger and become chronic it is deleterious to our health. Chronic inflammation leads to impairment of our immune system. Fortunately, there are natural ways to strengthen our immune systems.
Here are five natural ways to strengthen your immune system:
Avoid sugar, sweets and grains like cereal, pasta and bread. These all contain carbohydrates, which when digested cause high blood sugar. They also cause the body to become acidic. High blood sugar and an acidic environment weakens the immune system. Instead, eat lots of vegetables, especially of the cruciferous variety, which includes kale, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. Also eat foods that have good protein and good fats like eggs, beef and chicken. Helpful fats like olive oil, flaxseed oil, safflower oil and coconut oil are wonderfully utilized to strengthen our immune systems.
Get 30 minutes of exercise per day. Moderate exercise such as walking, weight and resistance training have been shown to lead to a higher number of white blood cells which help to fight infection. Since many gyms, health clubs and exercise facilities have been closed, to promote social distancing, it is certainly permissible and recommended to get outdoors and engage in some sort of physical exercise.
Get your sleep! Most people benefit from eight hours of sleep. I like to say that: “Our immune systems are working hardest, while we’re sleeping.” You can really supercharge your immune system if you make sure you get your rest.
Obtain the sunshine vitamin! The sunshine vitamin is vitamin D3. This vitamin enhances the immune system. If the weather is nice enough in your area, you can get direct sunlight exposure on your face, arms and legs for 15 minutes/day to manufacture adequate vitamin D3. If it is too cold or cloudy where you live to receive direct sunlight skin exposure, you can do nutritional supplementation of 5000-10,000 IU’s/day in a capsule form for adults. Check with your healthcare specialists to know how much vitamin D3 children and infants require.
Manage daily stress as well as situations beyond your control. One simple technique we can all practice is gratitude. Although many circumstances may be confronting us, we can always think of a number of things to be grateful for. Happiness is directly correlated to the gratitude that we have in our lives.
The best way to prevent illness is to strengthen our immune system. The five natural ways to strengthen the immune system listed above will help to keep your immune system strong!
(This is Part Two of how we can boost immunity because we have control over our daily routine. See Part One on a previous post.)
For most of us midday would bring us to lunch time. Ideally, lunch time would be 4 to 5 hours after we’ve had breakfast. Waiting 4-5 hours between meals is called intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body which, in turn, helps improve our immune system. (This is not recommended for those who are diabetic, have metabolic syndrome or other health conditions that require a different nutritional schedule. One should always check with their healthcare professional about what and when to eat.)
Lunch might include: Free range chicken and organic vegetable soup. Vegetables like carrots, which contain the vitamin A, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower to detoxify the body and a clove of garlic which is antimicrobial are a good choice. Another serving of healthy fat such as a tablespoon of flaxseed oil can also be consumed.
Dinner time ideally would, again be 4-5 hours after lunch, so as to practice intermittent fasting. A meal consisting of plenty of healthy vegetables, protein and fat like beef, chicken, and fish are excellent choices.
Any dietary plans that follow the guidelines of the keto diet, the paleo diet, the South Beach diet or similar approaches work well in supporting our immune systems.
Since all of us like a snack or something sweet on occasion that is certainly permissible. Dark chocolate is a great choice that can satisfy our sweet tooth and can benefit us because it is anti-inflammatory.
An alcoholic drink on occasion does not have to weaken our immune system. Red wine and stout beer are anti-inflammatory.
Exercise will definitely improve the immune system. A good goal is to shoot for 30 minutes of exercise per day. Moderate exercise such as walking and weight and resistance training have been shown to lead to a higher number of white blood cells which helps to fight infection. One does not need a gym, health club or exercise facility. Some hand weights and stretch cables at home can provide resistance training. Walking provides aerobic exercise and may be the most beneficial activity humans can engage in.
Getting adequate sleep and rest is the most important thing we can do for our immune system. Our immune systems are working hardest while we’re sleeping. We supercharge our immune system when we get our rest!
One does not have to strictly follow this daily routine to have improved immunity. Enacting any of these measures will only enhance the immune system. However, gradually adding these ideas, over time will improve our control over the present and future health condition confronting us and make us less susceptible to aging and degenerative processes.
Spring of 2020 finds many of us “locked down” due to a global viral pandemic. Schools are closed, businesses are shutterd and we are told to practice social distancing. Television and social media are a 24/7 source of information about the challenge. With all this going on it may appear as though all is lost and we are in a hopeless situation. However, all is not hopeless because we have control over our daily routine. This article will describe how we can go about our day in a positive manner that will help us during this trying time.
Anyone having played organized football and or having watched football on television has probably heard a coach say: “The best defense is a good offense.” Perhaps we can take this advice and formulate this strategy into improving our health so as to make us more resistant to the present disease we are facing and, even to other health conditions such as premature aging, dementia, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Consider the following healthy daily routine.
Upon awakening, drink a large glass of water. Water is necessary for all the chemical reactions that take place in our body. It is also an important way we eliminate toxins and waste products from the body. It is estimated that 75% of all Americans dehydrated or are underhydrated. One third of us mistake thirst for hunger- so instead of drinking water we eat, and we know what that leads to…. Most people should drink 2 liters or half a gallon of water/day.
Have a healthy breakfast of protein, vegetables and healthy fats. For example: two eggs, a serving cup of vegetables that might include carrots, broccoli and cabbage and a teaspoon of coconut oil.
Another vegetable option is to eat a handful of sprouts. You can grow your own sprouts from seed on your kitchen countertop by using a sprout jar. Amazon has a product called “Broccoli And Friends Mix” which contains a variety of different seeds.
Now that we’ve hydrated and fueled ourselves, we can gently get warmed up. Anyone with a dog or cat knows that their animal gently stretches upon arising. We should do the same. It is important to do some slow stretching exercises and nothing too vigorous. In fact, the first hour after arising shouldn’t consist of any heavy lifting or carrying. Nor should we engage in repetitive bending at the waist or finding ourselves in an awkward position. The body responds best to gently warming up for the first hour of our day.
(the finish of this post, Part Two, will be posted tomorrow)