How to Train your Immune System: Introduction
Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Or: How to awaken the dragon within you and how to get it working for you in the context of surviving the Pandemic.
When it comes to ensuring health and longevity, other than preventing physical accidents, it mostly comes down to how effectively your immune system protects you from disease. So what I'm sharing here is the introduction to how to nurture and exercise your immune system so that it faithfully serves you for the duration of your allotted time on Earth.
I'll start by telling you a story.
I get a phone call: "I'm sorry, I have a sick child at home, so I'll have to cancel our appointment".
"Is she in bed or up and about?" I ask.
"She is up and about".
"Well, bring her with you, I'm in good health, so I'd like her to share her bugs with me".
I want to exercise my immune system, I want it awake, alert and strong, and this will only be the case if I:
Nurture it with a rich supply of nutrients and
Give it regular, pulsed workouts.
Our immune system is like our muscles, bones, and brain: it requires regular, pulsed workouts to adapt and grow stronger, best described as building resilience. If not regularly stressed, precious bodily resources go elsewhere so they are put to better use while the unexercised part or system weakens and ultimately withers. This selective allocating and reallocating of resources for resilient adaptation takes place 24/7 within your body to the day you die.
Athletic conditioning is about building resilience and a great way to explain this process of adaptation for the better: The athlete lifts a weight several times until failure. Then, the athlete repeats the workout after a rest period of 2-5 days. As the weeks become months, the weight able to be lifted has increased significantly. This is resilience and this is how your immune systems adapts to the changing environment we live in.
Here are a few slides from a lecture about athletic resilience. The same ideas apply to nurturing your immune resilience.