The knowledge that we need to make our health a priority has become more apparent than ever in this post-COVID world. Boosting your immune system is the key to laying a foundation for wellness.
And, as we all know, if you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll have to make time for your illness eventually.
The body’s immunity is the defender against all sickness, from colds to chronic conditions. You can support the vital work your immune system does by using these easy tips.
1. Start With Sleep
Lack of sleep is intricately tied with increased illness. When you sleep, your brain has a chance to work on healing the damages done to your body that day. It tells your immune system to release proteins called cytokines.
Cytokines promote quality sleep. The amount released increases when you’re stressed or sick to defend against inflammation and infection. If you’re not sleeping well enough, the cytokines decrease. So do the antibodies and white cells that protect your body against invaders like viruses.
Chronic sleep deprivation increases a person’s risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health illnesses.
Your immune system doesn’t have to focus on fighting off new enemies when you’re sleeping. It can concentrate on what’s already in your body.
If you notice you’re starting to feel unusually tired or lethargic, your immune system might be on red alert, fighting off an illness. Listen to your body and sleep; you can try yoga or essential oils like hemp oil tincture to sooth your calmness and for better sleep.
2. Get Moving
As soon as you wake up in the morning, your target should be to stay active. The more you’re moving, the higher your body temperature gets, and that warmth kills germs. Even if you have a sedentary job, find ways to raise your temp a few times a day.
Working out three or more times per week is another way to boost your immune system. It increases the circulation in your blood. Now your antibodies and white blood cells are spreading farther and can fight infection better.
If you’re an occasional exercise person, you’ll get immediate but short-term benefits to your immune system. The more consistently you work out, the healthier and more robust the results will be.
3. Watch What You Eat
Processed foods, restaurant meals, and fast food joints are so much a part of our daily diet that most of us don’t even know how our bodies should feel. We think that fatigue and feeling yucky are just side effects of getting older.
Likely, your years of eating without considering what’s in the food in front of you are catching up. Two or three days of clean eating will show you quickly what the junk and processed foods in your diet are doing to your body.
By taking out certain foods and beverages, you’ll feel better, have more energy, and sleep more restfully.
Avoid these immune system depleting foods for a few days, and you’ll notice a big change in your overall daily health:
- Sugary sweets, like candy
- Soda and sweet tea
- Alcoholic beverages
- Fried foods
- Processed foods
That list might seem intimidating if it cuts out a lot of your current diet. But there are so many other yummy meals that you can start trying out now that you’ve chopped the dangerous ones off your list!
4. Find Healthy Coping Strategies
Stress is one of the largest obstacles to a healthy immune system. When your body senses stress, it releases cortisol, a steroid hormone intended to protect you.
Cortisol is necessary to help your body manage a lot of crucial processes. It aids in regulating your blood pressure, releasing insulin, and helping your immune system function.
The problem is that long-term cortisol release contributes to some dangerous chronic health conditions, such as:
- Decreased muscle tissue and bone density
- Increased fat, particularly in the abdomen
- Lowered immune system and inflammatory responses
- Lowered thyroid function
- Increased blood pressure
Mental and physical stress causes your body to work overtime. You may be eating poorly, sleeping fitfully, and on constant alert.
We can’t get rid of all the stress in our lives, but finding ways to reduce them through coping strategies can help. Everyone’s stress-relievers are different. Some standard methods include talk therapy, journaling, engaging in enjoyable hobbies, and exercising.
5. Drink More Water
Since our bodies are predominantly water, dehydration is a big problem. Everything in your body uses water. It flushes toxins from your body, circulates nutrients to all your cells, and helps digest your food. It’s almost as necessary to your health as oxygen.
When you aren’t getting enough water in your day, it shows up physically. You probably will notice dull headaches, irritability, and sleepiness. All of this leads to a lowered immune system.
Waiting until your body tells you it’s thirsty is too late. By the time you notice you need a drink, you are already in the dehydration slope. Stay hydrated ahead of time, before you start to feel that annoying cottonmouth.
The most common argument against drinking water is the complaint of the taste. Water, by nature, is tasteless. But if you are firmly against drinking it plain, there are plenty of natural flavor enhancers to make it more palatable.
How much water you need every day depends on your body weight, overall health, and activity level. Err on the side of too much rather than too little.
One way you can judge your hydration is to check the color of your urine. If you are getting enough fluids, it will be a pale yellow.
Getting sick is never fun, but it’s especially scary with all the viruses out there today. The surest way to protect yourself against any germs is to have a strong immune system.
Start supporting your internal body structure by boosting your health with these crucial actions. Then make sure you follow up with safe hygiene habits!
Dominique Daniels is the Business Manager at The Pointe. With over five years of property management experience, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She finds joy in helping current and future residents and makes The Pointe a place everyone loves to call home.