With all that is going on around us every day with concerns about our health and safety, it is important to keep your personal immune system strong to help your body defend itself from illness and disease
I think we can all agree that the last few months have been crazy. With all that is going on around us every day with concerns about our health and safety, it is important to keep your personal immune system strong to help your body defend itself from illness and disease. I think of my immune system as a finely tuned defensive machine, and just like any machine, there are things you can do to help ensure its longevity and efficiency. Here are some easy additions you can make in your life to help boost your immunity.
1. Increase your amount of exercise
Studies have shown that moderate exercise can help reduce inflammation and assist in helping your immune cells regenerate at a healthy rate. Effective forms of exercise are walking, jogging, biking, hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and even some long bouts of yard work. Plus, it is an excellent way to get outside, breathe some fresh air, and produce some natural vitamin D.
2. Eat more vegetables and fruits
It never hurts to up your intake of whole vegetables and fruits and get rid of sugars and processed foods. Whole foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help you fight off sickness. Also supplementing vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, elderberry, echinacea, and garlic have been known to lower your susceptibility to illness.
3. Get enough sleep
The proper amount of sleep and your immune system are closely tied together. Unfortunately, too much sleep will not help your immune system, but not sleeping enough could be a problem. While you are sleeping, your immune system activity increases and sends signals to turn on your immune response to help fight off whatever might be ailing you.
4. Stay hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate bacteria and other toxins that may cause illness. Our immune system depends on our bloodstream to carry nutrients to our organs. Our bloodstream is made up of mostly water, and without adequate hydration, our organs will not receive these nutrients effectively. A good rule of thumb is to consume daily half your body weight in ounces to stay hydrated. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink at least 75 ounces of water a day – even more if you are exercising or sweating outside in the Florida heat.
5. Keep your stress low
When your body is under stress, it releases the hormone cortisol, which at high levels can have a negative effect on your immune system. Some easy things to do to lower your stress include mediation or yoga. Read a book or do some puzzles that activate your brain. By treating your brain like a muscle, you can help lower stress.
Justin Bedor is a personal trainer and co-founder of BeFIT Health Studio in Lake Mary.
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