How exercise and PT can minimize chances of early flu.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the flu is going around earlier every year. We’re busy; we’re burnt out; we’re ignoring injuries, rather than treating them. And with the holidays coming up, it seems like the stress will only be increasing. So now is a particularly important time to remember that exercise is a great defense against the flu, by boosting your immune system.
Of course, being as busy as we all are, where do we find the time for exercising for 30 minutes per day, five times per week, as the American Heart Association is now recommending? If you can’t find a solid 30 minutes, try exercising in small chunks. Take the stairs at work or walk to the next subway or train station. I walk up the 12 flights to my office, and, believe me, by the twelfth flight, I am winded!
Walking and climbing the stairs are excellent cardio workouts, but don’t forget to include some strengthening and balancing exercises for building the immune system as well. Here are some great cardio, strengthening and balancing exercises that, along with good old walking and climbing stairs, you can build into your everyday activities:
- The Plank: This is a strengthening and balancing favorite of mine that involves holding a plank-like position by resting on your toes and elbows or straight arms, with your body straight and parallel to the ground. Start with 10 seconds and build up to a minute, with one to five repetitions. This is a quick exercise to do at work or home, with awesome results for your core.
- Squats: Remember good old squats? These can be done at the kitchen or bathroom sink, or even while sitting down on the toilet. Do the squat just as if you were sitting into a chair. Try this 10 to 20 times, with one to three sets of repetitions.
- Burpees: The Burpees exercise combines the best of all three types of workouts: strengthening, cardiovascular and balance. To do Burpees, you go from a squat to a plank to a pushup, then back up to a squat and jump in the air with your arms straight up. Do this 10 times, with one to three sets of each. Try this when you’re feeling tired, at home watching TV or at the end of your workout. You’ll challenge your systems big-time by doing this hard exercise at the end of your routine. But remember this: Do only as many as you can handle while maintaining good form, or you can risk injury.
With these simple additions to your daily routine, you’ll have your immune system fighting off the flu in prize-fighter style.
P.S. For those of you who can’t take the flu shot, check out Dr. Nenninger’s homeopathic Triple Flu Defense fluid, which is redeveloped each flu season to combat the new strains.