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Strengthen the immune system: sports medicine advises relaxation

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The immune system needs support through exercise, high-quality nutrition and active relaxation. Dr. Peter Konopka reveals how it works.

Doctors are now focused on prevention and strengthening the immune system. They also advise older people in particular to give more support to their immune system. Below is a look at some of the most useful tips:

immune system

“The green recipe”: 

Doctors recommend exercising endurance for 20 to 30 minutes at least three times a week, for example a walk, Nordic walking, jogging or cycling – “preferably in the forest and at a pace at which you can still have a good conversation”.

Nutrition

The most important thing is the quality of the food. “Avoid finished products. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but also enough high-quality protein; because all immune organs and immune cells are made up of protein, ”he explains. The vital substances that support the immune system include in particular secondary plant substances, vitamins (especially vitamins D and C), trace elements such as zinc and selenium and omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish (saithe, mackerel, herring) and seafood.

Optimism

The cells of the immune system are, as Konopka explains, in a certain way “floating nerve cells” and are influenced by thoughts, feelings and the emotional state of mind. “A principally optimistic attitude towards life favors a good function of the immune system.”

immune system

Rest and sleep

Negative stress and anger inhibit the function of immune cells, says Konopka. “That is why relaxation such as autogenic training, deep relaxation and yoga promote the function of the immune system, especially because you consciously free yourself from negative thoughts and feelings. But you have to take your time and practice. ”Overtiredness and exhaustion also weaken the immune system. “Therefore, conscious regeneration and adequate night sleep are very important.”

A healthy intestinal flora and relaxation exercises promote the immune system

So that you, dear readers, can start right away, we have two specific suggestions:

“Secret recipe”

Dr. Konopka recommends a “secret recipe” for a healthy intestinal flora and to strengthen the immune system: skip lunch every now and then and eat natural yoghurt (with natural yoghurt cultures) instead. It is best to mix two to three tablespoons of wheat germ (health food store) with the yogurt, which have a high content of selenium, zinc, magnesium, folic acid and vitamin E. With a red-cheeked apple. Finally, suck a Cerola-C-plus-Zink-Taler (health food store). “They contain a lot of vitamin C in connection with secondary plant substances from acerola cherries, black currants, rose hips and zinc, which is very important for the immune system.”

immune system

Journey through the body

Relaxation exercises are important for the immune system, so take your time and do the following exercise, which Dr. Konopka explained as follows: Lie on your back on a good surface. Place your arms on the floor at the sides of your body, palms up – this is how you lie in the posture of letting go. Put your feet together, let the tips of your feet fall to the side. 

Let your body relax and experience how you are carried off the floor. Now say the following to yourself inwardly: I forget everyday life with all its problems and worries. The outside world does not exist. I am only present here in this room. In am in the present, not in the past and not in the future. I let go of everything that excites me, that makes me unhappy and dissatisfied. I also let go of all negative thoughts and feelings like hate, envy, Jealousy, resentment and so on. Let the body become passive and not offer any internal resistance. Let the body sink deep into the ground.

Now go mentally down to your feet and consciously begin to relax your feet: the soles of the feet, the toes, the backs of the feet, the ankles. Now relax the calves and shins, the knee joints, the thighs, the abdomen, the upper abdomen and the digestive organs, the chest and the chest organs. Relax your arms, relax your hands and palms, relax your wrists, relax your forearms, elbow joints, upper arms and shoulders. 

Relax your back and spine from bottom to top, vertebrae by vertebra. Relax the neck and throat, relax the face, lips, cheeks, eyes, forehead and scalp. Let the whole body become passive and not offer any internal resistance. Let the body sink deep into the ground and experience how to be calm and peaceful. Lie there for a few minutes and consciously enjoy the relaxation. Then stretch and straighten and slowly straighten up again.

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