The flu is going around and last week I got it. I get a flu shot every year but this year the strains were wrong and I fell victim. Aside from the body aches, chills, and cough I felt like I was run over by a car. Even as my symptoms subsided I wondered which would be the best way I could get my strength up and build up immunity. Here is what I found…
- Practice. During flu season, practicing Pilates can help keep your immunity up! Joseph Pilates had asthma as well as other health problems. His first priority in creating his method of exercise was not for core strength, posture or flat abs but rather for good overall good health.
- Move. The rhythmic movements of a Pilates session stimulate blood flow and lymph flow. Throughout your Pilates class, as your muscles contract and release, your body eliminates toxins.
- Breathe. Pilates breathing is another key factor in good health. One of the first things you learn in a Pilates class is how to breathe better, as most of us breathe far too shallow. You must create space for the ribs to expand, by standing or sitting tall, then breathe wide and deep into your back and sides, thus maximising lung capacity. To breathe correctly you must completely exhale and inhale, always trying very hard to ‘squeeze’ every atom of impure air from your lungs in much the same manner that you would wring every drop of water from a wet cloth. Joseph Pilates wrote that this type of breathing ‘supplies the blood stream with vitally necessary life giving oxygen …and stimulates all muscles into greater activity. Therefore, above all, learn to breathe correctly.’
- Nourish. According to Jennifer Asfar who owns the Healthy Palate in Little Silver, 1000 mg of vitamin C and a probiotic with 90 billion live bacteria every day will help keep your defenses up. So will garlic pills if you can’t tolerate fresh garlic, lemon, honey, and one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger per day. Spicy foods, chili, and green tea are also good.
- De-stress. Julie Simser of Julie Simser Acupuncture in Fair Haven says acupuncture can help people recuperate from a virus and help gain back strength and lessen fatigue. It’s also really great as a preventative as it helps to strengthen the immune system.
Stay healthy and see you at the studio!