Your immune system’s job to defend your body against illness and disease. We’ve been told that one of the key factors that can help us battle Covid-19 is having a good immune system. Besides that, a strong immune system is going to help you boost your metabolism and help you burn fat effectively.
Now, some of you might be wondering how can you improve your immune system or if you’re doing enough to boost it? You’re in luck because we have some tips that can help you strengthen your immunity.
1) What is a good immune system made of?
The immune system consists of several parts – cells in your skin, your blood and your organs – that are working hard to fight off bacteria and viruses. One way to look at it is to think of it as a car and for the car to run smoothly, you need to make sure each part of the car is in good shape. That’s kinda how our immune system works.
Various factors contribute to a good immune system. A significant part of it is to practice good everyday behaviours like getting enough exercise, enough sleep, the right nutrients and meditation are ways to reduce stress because all these behaviours help to strengthen your immunity.
Practicing a well-balanced lifestyle like drinking responsibly (I mean alcohol) and having a good work-life balance is also essential to boost your immune system. Now let’s dive deeper into some of these categories.
2) Get enough exercise
Making sure you’re getting at least 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise (aerobics, Zumba, running) or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (walking, jogging, cycling) in a week is very important.
Exercising does not only help you stay fit, but it’s also a great way to manage stress and strengthen your immunity. Exercising helps to reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Imagine yourself channeling your frustrations from a long day at work towards a punching bag, doesn’t that feel good?
Regular exercise also helps reduce the risk of chronic health diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. These chronic diseases can severely affect your immune system and weaken it, making you more likely to contract other sicknesses.
These days there are many ways to exercise. You can get a personal trainer to guide you with your routines, you can subscribe to online fitness videos and exercise at home or you can do everyday activities like gardening and cleaning. Any movement is better than none. All you need to do is find the time to do it and have the discipline to commit to it.
3) Get your Z’s
Did you know that lack of sleep could negatively affect your immune system? Yes, it’s true. Sleep is essential to keep your immune system strong because your body carries out vital functions like healing itself and regenerating its cells when you’re asleep. Adults need a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep so that the body can get the rest it needs. Anything less than 7 hours of sleep might leave your body feeling exhausted.
To help your body heal while you snooze, your body produces and distributes certain types of proteins like cytokines, which is a key immune cell that can either fight or increase inflammation and T cells, which is a kind of white blood cell that helps to regulate the immune response.
Lack of sleep does not only affect your immune system, but it can also contribute to weight gain, increased inflammation levels in your body and poor skin condition. It can also increase your cortisol levels, which then affects your immune functions. If your mind has a habit of keeping you awake at night, maybe you can try taking more naps to make up for the lack of sleep.
Having a good night’s rest also helps increase concentration and productivity, which can improve your performance at work. Point is, sleep is important and you should not take your sleep for granted.
4) Get your nutrients
Eating more fruits and vegetables can help you improve your immune system. Eating more single ingredient food helps you get the nutrients your body needs. Eating less high-salt, high-sugar and processed meat can also help reduce other health risks like diabetes and heart disease.
5) Manage stress
Here’s a fun fact – Stress can lead to other negative behaviours or activities like drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, having a poor diet and even lack of sleep. It is proven that the immune system can be negatively impacted by prolonged chronic stress, making it hard for the body to defend itself against viruses and bacteria.
Learning to manage stress can help increase your immune system and there are many ways to do so. Meditation is an option that you can explore to help you cope better with stress and help you feel calmer. Having a good support system has been said to help people get through stressful situations and scenarios.
Journaling, doodling and even painting are some possible avenues to help you manage stress better. The thing about learning to manage stress is that no one solution fits all. You just have to explore options and see what works best for you.
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