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5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

April 19, 2021

5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

I think you will agree with me when I say it can be difficult to juggle everything life is throwing at us. Our health and immune support can be put on the back burner and before we know it, we crash and burn as our immune system tires out.

 

Having a simple guideline and checklist for what we can do to stay ahead of the game and maintain a strong immune system is all it takes!

 

Here, we discuss 5 things you can do to maintain a strong immune system, so you can keep on doing what you do best.

 

Introduction

There are countless products and supplements you can get your hands on that claim to boost your immune system. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Wrong. While there are some amazing supplements to help you support a strong immune system, humans are actually a lot more complex than we think.

Your immune system must be strong enough to defend against an array of illnesses and infections, but not too strong so it begins to overreact causing autoimmune disorders and allergies. This process is a delicate balancing act, governed by a number of our inputs.

While our system is extremely intricate and complex, the inputs it relied upon are not. Simple lifestyle habits and small changes day-to-day gives your immune system the boost it needs.

 

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating a well-balanced diet not only provides your body with the energy it needs, but it also ensures your getting enough of the micronutrients that help your immune system such as:

  • Vitamin E, found in almonds, sunflower and safflower oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and spinach
  • Vitamin C, found in citrus fruit, including oranges and strawberries, as well as tomatoes, broccoli and spinach
  • Vitamin B6, found in chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, green vegetables and potatoes (with the skin)

Since experts believe that your body absorbs vitamins more efficiently from dietary sources, rather than supplements, the best way to support your immune system is to eat a well-balanced diet.

 

2. Regular Exercise

Exercise is not only good for building muscle and de-stressing, its also a vital part of maintaining a healthy body and immune system.

 When you exercise, your circulation is increased, allowing immune cells and other infection fighting molecules to make their way around your body more easily. So next time your drenched in sweat and wanting to call it quits, remember that your cells are loving it.

 In fact, studies have shown that engaging in as little as 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise every day helps stimulate your immune system.

 

3. Stay Hydrated

Water is important for several roles in your body, including immune support.

Within your circulatory system you have lymph’s, which carry important infection fighting cells around your body and is largely made up of water. The less water you drink, the harder it is for your lymph system to move good cells around your body, sometimes resulting in an impaired immune system.

Even if you're not exercising or sweating, you're constantly losing water through your breath, as well as through your urine and bowel movements. To help support your immune system, be sure you're replacing the water you lose with water you can use — which starts with knowing how much water you really need.

How much water is enough?

You’ve probably heard the 8x8 rule: Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.

It’s a simple rule to remember, but it may be too simple in practice. That’s because everyone’s daily water needs are different, and they vary based on:

  • Your gender – men generally need more water than women
  • Your age – children and elderly individuals can be less aware of thirst
  • How much you’re sweating – whether it’s due to hot weather or exercise, you lose water when you sweat
  • Your health – water loss increases during illnesses that cause vomiting or diarrhea, as well as during pregnancy, breast-feeding and as a result of some medical conditions
  • Medications you’re taking – some medicines cause fluid retention, while others cause excessive urination

Even though several factors affect how much water we each need, the Institute of Medicine recommends that men get about 3.7 litres of fluid per day and that women get about 2.7 litres of fluid per day.

 

4. Get Your Sleep

Sleep may not feel like an active process, but there’s a lot happening in your body when you're not awake — even if you don't realize it. For instance, important infection-fighting molecules are created while you sleep.

Studies have shown that people who don't get enough quality sleep are more prone to getting sick after exposure to viruses, such as those that cause the common cold.

How much sleep do you really need?

Age has a lot to do with the amount of sleep we should be getting. In fact, the CDC recommends the following hours of sleep based on age:

  • Newborns: Birth to 3 months, 14-17 hours (including naps)
  • Infants: 4 to 12 months, 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • Toddlers: 1 to 2 years, 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • Preschool: 3 to 5 years, 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • School-age: 6 to 12 years, 9-12 hours
  • Adolescents: 13 to 18 years, 8-10 hours
  • Adults: 18 to 60 years: 7 or more hours; 61 to 64 years: 7-9 hours; 65 years and older: 7-8 hours

While the above is a good guideline, remember to listen to your body and adjust your sleep patterns accordingly.

 

5. Minimize Stress Levels

Stress can be different for everyone, and appear in the body in very different ways, but the commonality is that it is an immune suppressant, during a period of stress, particularly chronic stress that's frequent and long-lasting, your body responds by initiating a stress response. This stress response, in turn, suppresses your immune system — increasing your chance of infection or illness.

 

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