You wake up eager to go to work for some reason and feel tired despite your eight-hour beauty sleep. Then, you feel a sneeze coming in and another. After making sure that your runny nose and bouts of coughing aren’t allergy-related, you realize that you’re sick–and you’ve used up all of your sick days.
Getting sick often isn’t just a nuisance. It also affects your work, relationships, and other aspects of your daily life.
You can’t work or come in contact with loved ones. And with the lack of energy, you can’t do anything but lie in bed all day long.
The good news is: you can protect yourself from diseases and infections by having a strong immune system.
Here are five ways to boost your body’s natural defenses:
Get Some Z’s
One of the pillars of healthy living is also a major factor in a better immune system: sleep.
Sleeping for seven or more hours every night is generally recommended for adults. But across the world, over half of the adult population aren’t meeting this requirement.
Sleep is easily taken for granted. And this causes a huge blow to our immune systems.
If you’re sleep-deprived because of work, you have to adjust your schedule or find ways to cope with the stress your job may be causing. And if you suffer from chronic insomnia, you might want to consider seeing your doctor to discuss any underlying health issues or a therapist who can help treat you.
Okay, so it’s not entirely possible to remove stress from our lives. But you should know that it’s heavily linked to the top leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, injuries from accidents, and respiratory ailments.
Another problem that’s caused by stress? Suppressed immune response.
When you’re always stressed or anxious, your body releases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. This hormone can alter bodily functions that get in the way, including your immune system.
That’s why it’s important to know how you can best deal with stress.
Whenever you feel stressed out, you can try mindful meditation, regular exercise, yoga, journaling, or other relaxing activities.
Eat Healthy Food
Every tip on this post sounds like the essentials for a healthy lifestyle. But all of them are key in boosting your immune system, including having a well-balanced diet.
More specifically, you have to increase your intake of veggies, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and proteins. These can provide your body with a sufficient amount of antioxidants, vitamin C, and probiotics–which are essential in strengthening your immunity.
And speaking of healthy choices, you have to limit your consumption of unhealthy meals. These include processed meat, fried food, or any food that causes inflammation.
Cut Down on Refined Carbs and Sugars
Being overweight or obese can provide one with a heightened risk of diseases. So, to manage your weight effectively, you have to limit your sugar intake.
Overindulging in sugary treats not only causes type 2 diabetes and unhealthy weight gain–it also compromises your immune system.
So, try curbing your sugar intake, keep it at less than 5% of your daily calories, and you’ll see how your food choices can decrease inflammation and boost your immunity.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle
They say that exercise is medicine. Not only does it help you manage your weight, but it also improves your mind and body. It reduces stress and inflammation, boosts your mood and energy, and gives you better sleep quality–all of which add up to a better immune system.
That said, working out regularly can increase your body’s resilience and help fight off diseases. And while too much of it can suppress your immune response, doing it in moderation can definitely strengthen it.
Some exercises that are great for your immune system are cycling, swimming, jogging, and light hiking. Do any of these for at least 3 hours every week, and you can enjoy a stronger immune system and a healthier lifestyle overall.
Boosting your immune system is essential for maintaining good health and well-being. While there is no single magic solution for a strong immune system, incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine can make a big difference.
By following the tips mentioned in this blog, such as eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, managing stress, and staying hydrated, you can give your immune system the support it needs to function at its best. Remember, taking care of your immune system is a lifelong journey, so make these habits a part of your daily routine for long-term health benefits.
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