(Photo credit: anna gutermuth)

Flu season is in full swing, and its severity and promptness leaves many health experts concerned. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 states are undergoing pervasive activity. Fortunately, it does appear to be going down in some areas though.

The CDC states that this is the most instances of flu they have seen in over a decade. The CDC does not track adult flu-related deaths, but does track pediatric deaths. Since the beginning of the season, 20 pediatric flu-related deaths have been reported.

Usually, flu season reaches its peak in February, and even though some states have reached their peak already, for many states it’s yet to come. These states may reach their peak within the next couple of weeks.

Obviously, there’s the flu-shot route for flu prevention, although it doesn’t work for everyone, but what are some natural ways we can boost our immunity? Well, first and foremost, sleep! Be sure to get plenty of it and regularly too. If not, your immune system becomes vulnerable and you’re also more likely to make poor food choices, overeat, increase stress and not have enough energy for physical activity. If you have a hard time falling and staying asleep at night, make an effort to relax before bedtime, set a regular sleep/wake schedule or try the NightWave Sleep Assistant, which guides deep breathing and taps into the relaxation response in the body.

Secondly, choose healthful, clean and unprocessed foods to keep your body in check. Additionally, add immune-boosting foods to your diet, such as homemade bone broth, chicken soup, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi, and organic plain whole milk yogurt (if you tolerate dairy). These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals and the fermented foods, specifically, provide a healthy dose of probiotics. For an easy homemade bone broth recipe, click here.

Lastly, make sure to get regular physical activity, but don’t sacrifice sleep to get it. If you’re feeling rundown or low on sleep, don’t get up at 5:30 in the morning to exercise. Remember, sleep comes first! Also, if you feel like you’re catching a bug, opt for low-intensity exercise, such as walking or restorative yoga. Exercise doesn’t have to be all out intense and even small, regular doses are beneficial.

For further information and answers to the current flu epidemic, read CNN’s article titled, Your Top 10 Flu Questions Answered.

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