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Good'n Healthy: Give your immune system tools to fight disease

Good'n Healthy: Give your immune system tools to fight disease

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Jeremy Jensen handles the box jump portion of a recent workout at CrossFit Council Bluffs.

This year has been full of surprises and unprecedented circumstances, but it has also brought awareness on our overall health as a nation.

Disease has been around since the dawn of life. More new and even scarier diseases will present themselves in the future.

How are you preparing your body to fight the next strain of microbes that will threaten life on this planet?

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Health shouldn’t be dependent on your access to disinfectant. Even though these man-made, constructed chemicals are useful to keep us safe from disease, they should not be the No. 1 option to prevent disease.

Actually, there is a lot of evidence to support that the exposure to disease will help increase your ability to fight off disease. A classic example of that is the methods behind the invention of vaccines.

It’s like exercising a muscle. The more it gets worked out, the more it will adapt to that stress.

What is being exercised when it comes to the mechanism inside you that helps fight off disease?

This is called the immune system, and it’s the body’s built-in disinfectant process. The immune system is a very equipped and adaptable system that is completely capable of fighting off invading microbes.

There are things that suppress the immune system. Stress, lack of sleep, lack of physical exercise and poor nutrition.

A combination of this list makes it that much harder for your immune system to protect you.

Chronic disease follows the characteristics too and usually comes hand in hand with immune suppression. As described in a previous article, chronic disease can be prevented and eliminated by changing our behaviors: moving more and eating whole foods.

By instilling those same behavior changes, you can boost your immune system and create a healthier version of yourself.

As we move toward the New Year’s resolutions season, I believe that it is truly important to take a look at the long-term investment you are willing to make to sustain health for the duration of your existence.

What type of habits can you create and practice daily?

New Year’s resolutions aren’t meant to last one, two or even three months.

They are made because you realize that a change needs to happen.

I caution you on turning your life upside down, but rather choose one behavior you would like to change and make habits that will lead to that particular change.

Then move onto the next behavior and repeat this process until you are satisfied with the lifestyle you have created. Then maintain it the rest of the way.

It’s never too early or too late to start making changes in your lifestyle. You are in complete control of what you do on a daily basis.

It is up to you to take measures into your own hands and become a happier, healthier version of yourself.

It all starts with making that first step toward who you want to be.

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