4 Key Steps to Improve Your Immune System for this Winter
As a whole, our immune system is incredibly complicated and does a remarkable job of keeping us alive and well.
Each day, germs, bacteria, and viruses attack the body, and thanks to our immunity, most of them get eradicated before they get a chance to affect us in any way. So, to stay healthy, feel great, and keep illnesses at bay, we need strong immunity.
The good news is, several lifestyle factors significantly impact our immunity, and today, we’ll go over all four of them.
Immune System – What Is It And Why It Is Vital For Us
We’ve all heard the term immune system. But what exactly does it mean?
In the simplest of terms, our immunity is an intricate system of defense that protects the body from illnesses and infections.
Our immunity is made of cells and proteins that patrol the body and exterminate threats on sight. What’s more, the immune system keeps a record of every threat it has erased before, so it more easily finds and eradicates it if it enters the body again.
The stronger our immunity is, the more protected we are, the less often we get sick, and the less severe our symptoms are when we do catch something.
Below, we’ll go over four key ways to improve your immune system function.
Four Ways to Improve Immunity
Here are the four most effective lifestyle changes we can all make:
1. Exercise Regularly
At its core, exercise is a stressor to the body, and doing too much of it can weaken our immune response. What’s more, experts suggest that we should avoid vigorous exercise if we feel sick because that can exacerbate our symptoms and prolong the recovery time.
But, according to research, regular physical activity is a great way to boost our immunity and increase the effectiveness of vaccines.
Observational studies have also found that people who are more physically active tend to get sick much less often than sedentary individuals.
2. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is vital for every system within the body, and that includes our immunity. The lack of sleep is associated with an increased risk of catching the common cold and suffering from various diseases later in life.
What’s more, getting adequate sleep allows the body to repair itself and more easily eradicate intruders that would otherwise cause adverse health effects.
As far as sleep duration goes, we are all different, and no single recommendation will work perfectly for everyone. But, it seems that we should aim to get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
3. Manage Your Stress
Too much stress can hinder our immune system and make us more susceptible to the common cold and other conditions.
So, a great way to boost our immunity is to introduce stress management techniques. Some include:
- Meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness exercises
- Spending more time in nature
- Making time for play and hobbies
- Dedicating a bit of time each day for relaxing
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
The human body needs a wide variety of nutrients to function correctly and maintain a robust immune system. Many nutrients also control inflammation, which itself is linked to heart disease, some cancers, and metabolic syndrome.
Some vital nutrients include:
- Healthy fats
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
- Zinc, selenium, and iron
So, make sure to eat a balanced diet full of whole and minimally-processed foods, and mostly avoid highly-refined food options.
Our immunity is an intricate system that shields the body from outside threats, so we must do our best to maintain its integrity and allow it to work optimally.
The great news is, as you saw above, there are simple lifestyle improvements we can all make to optimize our immunity and get sick less often.
So, which tactic are you going to try first?