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  • Tracy Abraham

YOUR BACK-TO-SCHOOL WELLNESS PLAN




The new school year is quickly coming upon us! Whether kids will attend virtually or physically, there is plenty of wellbeing prep to be done. I have four kids in school, ranging from sixth grade up to twelfth. I don't have to tell you that these past 17 months have been a roller coaster ride if you're a parent. How can we minimize the risk to our kids while also minimizing the possibility of stressing them out even more? I will get to that after I cover the absolute basics of what we need to be doing for their little immune systems. Remember, COVID, and Delta viruses aren't the only games in town. All the typical viruses the kids haven't been exposed to due to quarantine are still circulating. Sure, the protective measures already in place will help them, but we can do more.

BASIC IMMUNE STRATEGY FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR

Start with a basic immune strategy consisting of supplementation that goes to the heart of the issue. Vitamin C Have you heard of free radicals? They're harmful molecules that can accumulate and feed into oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases and a lowering of the immune system. Antioxidants are warriors against free radicals and help us to have a strong defense against illness. Vitamin C is full of these antioxidants. It also encourages the production of white blood cells, which help protect the body against infection and shorten recovery time. Vitamin D Through this whole pandemic, vitamin D has come out swinging. It plays a critical role in our immune response and provides anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties crucial to our immune defenses. It potentializes the function of immune cells, like T cells and macrophages, which help protect our bodies against illnesses. Recent studies have even indicated that patients with sufficient vitamin D levels had a decreased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 due to its protective nature with respiratory conditions. For your information, these are the recommended amounts for kids: 1-12 years 15 mcg (600 IU), 13-19 years 15 mcg (600 IU). Zinc Zinc is a bit of a rock star. It's one of our top two most abundant minerals and is present in every cell! It is necessary for the function of over 300 enzymes, aids in digestion, nerve function, metabolism, and is critical for the operation of immune cells. The thing is, our bodies don't produce it. We must get enough of it through diet and supplementation. That's why through this whole pandemic, we've heard a lot about zinc supplementation. It stimulates immune cells and reduces the oxidative stress I spoke of earlier. Probiotic Our gut microbiome should be diverse to be healthy and fight infection. Many things can negatively impact our gut flora, such as not eating a wide enough range of foods, overdoing antibiotics or alcohol, not getting enough exercise or sleep, or having too much stress. Our poor children have been through a lot this year, and chances are their gut microbiome needs a bit of attention. We want to reestablish an excellent healthy bacteria population through probiotics (the beneficial bacteria) and prebiotic (their food) supplementation.

HOW DO WE HELP THEM WITH THE STRESSORS OF GOING BACK TO SCHOOL DURING THE PANDEMIC?

As adults, it's hard for us to remember how stressful going back for the new school year was. Every year seemed like starting over in a way. Remember? Now, pile on the pandemic and how it affects those going back to in-class learning or continuing virtually-it's stress squared! Here are a few suggestions for the transition and possible roller coaster ride of this school year:

  1. Communicate. Frequently review the reasons they have to abide by certain restrictions and why things aren't "normal" and help them see the positives of the situation. Gratitude for what we can do is better than complaining about what we can't. When we learn to "accept instead of expect," we have fewer disappointments and more contentment.

  2. Attitude and routine are everything. Model calm behavior. Make goodbyes positive. Follow the same routine every time you leave or drop off your child. Routines are soothing and make even this weird time more normal.

  3. Exercise. Make sure they are exercising enough. It not only helps to fight off infections, but it also helps to produce the feel-good chemicals they desperately need.

  4. Get enough sleep. Have them stick to a healthy sleep schedule of approximately 7 hours a night, giving them a chance to rest, regenerate and heal.

I hope this overview of physical and emotional wellness tips was helpful for you. I'd love to hear your feedback. Remember, I'm always here to help you with complete health protocols tailored to you or your child's specific needs. In the meantime, please check out my back-to-school wellness product in this month's product feature below, and have a great and safe school year!




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