In the words of my trainer, staying home can mess up your immune system. When we are ready to mingle again, how resistant will our systems be? PJ Glassey of Xgym asks if we remember when Quarantines were only for sick people? I was once quarantined because I had the mumps. I remember the dark front bedroom and my mother creeping in to take my temperature and feed me soup. I was six years old. We have seldom quarantined healthy people.
We could end up on the other side of this quarantine period claiming it saved us all and
had we not done this unprecedented lockdown, millions upon millions of people would have died, and the virus would have continued to wreak havoc on the world for decades to come.
The other extreme side will say the lockdown had absolutely no effect on the infection or death rates and, in fact, the countries and states who didn’t close down proved that point by fairing as well or better than those who did.
Then there will be lots of people in the middle, adjusting toward one side or the other, based on what they believe to be true and then repeating that narrative based on their ingrained biases and agendas.
The bottom line is no one will really know. No one will be able to prove anything because no one can see into the future or even guess what might have been if things were done differently. PJ Glassey
Either way the lockdown will have negative effects on our immune systems and may cause increased infection rates if we don’t recognize what is going on and do something about it.
Here are some ideas about how to strengthen your immune system so you don’t catch every little cold, flu, bacteria, and other bugs the minute we are all mingling again.
First, let’s be clear that everyone gets sick, and there’s no way to avoid every bug….
The strength of anyone’s immune system lies mostly in their gut flora balance and diversity. In fact, over 70% of you’re immune system strength is directly attributable to the health and status of your gut flora.
Those little internal buggers protect you from the outside buggers in a myriad of ways, ranging from killing off those bad bugs themselves to communicating with your other lines of defenses in your body to help kill them there.
The best way to have an optimized gut flora is to feed them with the right nutrients and tools to be as healthy, balanced, and diverse as possible. If you help them, they are able to help you.
When you eat real, organic food, your gut flora thrives on the fiber (soluble and insoluble), vitamins, and minerals. Real (and especially organic) food is the best source for all this.
Non-organic food often has pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified components that kill off your good gut microbes, throwing off the balance, and slashing the diversity. Additionally, some respected scientists are finding the Coronavirus mechanism involves an “unmasking” of environmental toxins such as glyphosate, found in many non-organic foods, drastically amplifying its toxic effects inside the body on a cellular level, exacerbating the complications related to Coronavirus.
There’s something even worse than non-organic food though. Guess what that is? Yep – processed food. If you are eating most of your food out of bags and boxes, you’re decimating your gut flora and your immune system.
It just so happens that’s what most people are eating now in this lockdown, so they are setting themselves up to catch lots of nasty bugs when they get back out of their homes.
Another huge way we get and maintain a strong immune system is through constant exposure to microbes. When we are consistently coming into contact with viruses and bacteria, we are building and strengthening our immune system. We do this by shaking hands (and sharing microbes), playing in the dirt, hugging people, kissing, talking and laughing within 6 feet of each other, etc. – everything we are avoiding right now – so that’s another way we are decimating our immune system and setting it up for failure.
We are also acting like OCD people with all the incessant handwashing, hand sanitizers, spraying, wiping, disinfecting every surface, masks, gloves, and more, all contributing to preventing the natural and healthy exposure of the TRILLIONS of microbes we need to be in contact with, in order to try to avoid the ONE bug we are so fearful of right now.
If that worked, then clean-freak OCD people wouldn’t get sick more frequently than their “dirtier” friends but they do. They get sick way more often, in fact, because they are so focused on staying clean and sterile, they don’t get the exposure necessary for proper immunity. This, of course, feeds their OCD, which makes them try to be even cleaner, which then perpetuates the problem, sometimes resulting in the “Howard Huges syndrome,” along with Munchausen, and more.
When we are cooped up inside and out of the sunshine, we rapidly become deficient in Vitamin D, which drastically weakens our immune system. Some health and medical experts even believe Vitamin D should be reclassified as a hormone because it’s so much more powerful than other vitamins – especially with its effect on our immune health.
Since we are inside, out of the sun, and moving much less than we usually do, our hydration habits are also most likely suffering, as our thirst mechanisms are sending us fewer signals. Viruses and bacteria LOVE a dry host and HATE hydrated hosts because those people are stronger, more energetic, have healthier organs, happier gut flora, and the list goes on and on. PJ Glassey
During the lockdown, we are doing the exact opposite of what we should be doing to build and maintain a healthy immune system to be ready to come out of this and resume our lives.
Here are PJ’s top 7 suggestions, based on what he has learned about the human body as a biohacker and health researcher over the last 34 years:
1.) Drink 2-4 quarts of clean, filtered water per day. Here’s a “ballpark” way to figure out how much you should have: Take your body weight in pounds, divide that by two, and drink that many ounces each day, spread throughout the day as much as possible. This general formula works great for people who weigh between 100 and 250 lbs. but some may need a bit more or less depending on climate, habits, activity, sweating rate, etc.
2.) Eat organic real food, prepared in your own kitchen, with your own hands.
3.) Stay away from processed food, artificial ingredients, and especially sugar because that can really hurt your internal buggers. If your food has a label on it, treat that as a warning label, and the longer it is, the more urgent the warning!
4.) Exercise! This can be through the X Gym online training, the X Gym app, running, biking, hiking, dancing (learn a new move on TicTok), or anything else that gets you breathing hard. [Join Free Form Dance Dance on Saturday morning 10:30 – 12. zoom to a curated set list virtually dancing with several dozen people. It’s a hoot.]
5.) Get out in the sun and/or take a vitamin D3 supplement.
6.) Eat fermented foods like kimchi, or sauerkraut, or kefir, or all of those, as I do. These foods are packed with probiotics – another word for the “good buggers” I’m been talking about and will help balance and populate your gut flora. [Shaklee’s Optiflora does a great job.]
7.) Get outside and roll in the grass, plant some stuff with your bare hands, play with some earthworms, walk on the beach in your bare feet, dig in the sand with your hands, etc., and then rub your face with those grimy hands!
How is your score on doing these 7 things? Begin adding one after the other over the next few days/weeks to get ready. Hopefully, you have not put on 19 covid pounds during this stay-at-home order. Shaklee can help you there with a 7-Day cleanse to kick start better eating anytime you are ready.
Our current “quarantine quandary,” as PJ calls it, is more than just weight gain. It’s going to get way worse if people don’t become aware of the current immune-depressing world we are moving around in. Personally I know a lot of people who are gardening and walking and getting up close and personal with their “quarantine pod” of friends and family and so are not overly depressing their immune system. If you see yourself in the situation PJ describes, take steps. You’ll be glad you did.
Be well, do well, and keep moving!
Betsy Bell’s Health4U
206 409 5940
www.HiHoHealth.com my Shaklee shopping page