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February 15, 2012

By Britta Zimmer, Medical Director

Every week at Pacific Quest wilderness therapy program we discuss and engage in the five pillars of health. This week we discussed the pillars of health and how they contribute to strengthening the immune system.

The pillars of health are:

Pacificquest wilderness therapy program1. Diet/ Nutrition

2. Mind/ Body Connection

3. Sleep

4. Breathing

5. Exercise/ Movement

At Pacific Quest all five of these pillars are reinforced daily leading to healthier and happier students.

What can weaken the body’s immune system?

Stress, sugar, poor sleep quantity and quality, eating processed food and junk food, not exercising, suppressing your emotions, smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs

What can you do on a daily basis to keep your immune system strong and healthy?

Move: move your body daily, work in the garden, exercise, take a walk, stretch, take the stairs.
Eat well: eat whole foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables, stay on the periphery of your supermarket, the middle contains processed foods and the periphery contains the fresh produce, dairy and meats.
Sleep well: sleep at least 7 hours per night and do not use substances to induce sleep as they can disrupt your sleep architecture, meaning quality of sleep.
Breathe: take deep breaths to calm your nervous system and detoxify, breathe fresh air, use a HEPA air purifier in your bedroom if you live in a city.
Water: drink a lot of filtered water, drink half your body weight in ounces daily, for each alcoholic or caffeinated beverage consumed add another 8 ounces of water.
Calm the mind to moderate stress: talk about your emotions, reserve at least 10 minutes of quiet time daily to clear the mind and breathe, some people call this meditation.

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