Many entities have a defense mechanism in place to keep them secure and protected from external factors that could compromise their system. This is similar to how our bodies work, and our bodies’ defense is our immune system. The immune system comprises organs and cells in your body that protect you and keep you from contracting diseases. Specialized blood cells, such as the white blood cells, are known to be the immune system’s most powerful weapon. This means you will have to pay close attention to this mechanism, and fortunately, there are things you can do to keep things working efficiently for your body. You can take charge of your health by consciously engaging in activities that strengthen your immune system.
Here are some of the actions you can incorporate into your lifestyle to boost your body immunity.
1. Keep your body hydrated
Water is essential to the organs in your inner and outer body, including your immune system since your organs and cells need water to operate well. You need to drink fluids, preferably water, during your daily activities. It is recommended to drink eight glasses of water every day, which is a routine you may find challenging to practice. What you can do is to start your mornings by drinking a glass of water. This is because while your body was at rest during sleep time, ongoing repairs and activities in your body may have left you dehydrated. Sometimes you will wake up feeling a little dry in your throat area, and you can take advantage of that and drink water.
You can also have a board system to tick the number of glasses you drink in a day. Anytime you tick a box on your board, you will be reminded of how many more glasses of water you are left to drink. It is not something you have to do forever, and as you do it over time, it automatically becomes another habit of yours, which is a win-win situation. Water will aid in food digestion, circulation, absorption, and transfer and sharing of nutrients in your body. It can also help you avoid headaches, dehydration, constipation, and early skin wrinkles. You can also use warm drinks and fruit juice to supplement your intake of water. Preferably, the drinks should not be caffeinated and should not also replace your intake of pure water.
2. Indulge in regular exercise
When some people think or hear exercise, they think of flat stomachs and weight loss, but exercise does more than that; it boosts your immunity. Therefore, if you’re thinking of keeping your body fit and your immunity strong, add exercise to your lifestyle. Physical activities also improve blood circulation in your body, and spending at least thirty minutes a day for a workout should produce results. You can also pick up a sport as a way to exercise and move your body and muscles. To make it more fun, you can play upbeat music in the background to motivate you while you work out.
You can subscribe to the local gym to guide you to choose exercises that promote your general health. Different workouts will help you tackle various issues such as joint or back pain and cardio. If you decide to get yourself a trainer, you can specifically ask for exercises that boost your immune system. Another option is to find virtual workout classes that allow you to sign up for sessions in the comfort of your home. Doing this may come with a cost since you would need to buy workout equipment for your personal use. Additionally, wear comfortable clothes and shoes while you exercise; you will have to invest in workout clothes for yourself if you don’t have any. Again, avoid over-exercising, start small, and make progress as time passes.
3. Eat healthily
Having a healthy diet will enhance your immune system and keep your body in top-notch shape, and a well thought out diet will give your body the nutrients it requires. Create a balanced diet plan for yourself and do your best to follow it. You could as well speak to a nutritionist to make a diet plan for you. Doing this would help you avoid both undereating and overeating. Anorexia and obesity affect the body’s immunity to diseases, and that is another reason to take your eating habits more seriously. Again, avoid skipping your breakfasts and instead start your day with a hearty and healthy meal. Your diet plan should include vegetables with high fiber, green vegetables, fruits, and oily fish. It should also have less sugar content and less saturated fats. To make things even more simple for you, try a food timetable that determines and rotates your meals for morning, afternoons, and evenings.
You can also promote healthy eating habits by eating with your family. Or consider getting a recipe book on healthy foods and practice the cooking instructions in your free time. You can prepare yourself a lunch box to take along with you to work daily; ensure what you put together is a nutritious meal. Try not to delay your meals or eat only when you are feeling hungry. This might cause you to eat more than you should or less than what your body requires.
4. Manage your stress levels
Stress is an emotional response to a demanding situation. Pressure can be built from the kind of work you do and the challenging situations you face in your daily life. Other causes include hard work, conflict, arguments, and unpleasant relations. Unless you get things under control, it could take a toll on your immune system. You can do this by practicing relaxation activities to help you manage your stress. You can take a break, go for a walk, listen to soothing music, go for a run, or meditate to achieve this. Avoid overworking and putting too much pressure on your body. Take a break when you are tired and return to work after you’re calm. Some signs of stress include anxiety and irritability, and these are relatively easy to spot if you pay attention. When you find it difficult to concentrate on a task or feel restless, it is also a sign of stress.
5. Get quality sleep every day
Ensuring you have proper and quality sleep time also improves your immune system. Studies have shown that people who sleep six hours or less a night are more liable to catch a cold than others who get seven or more hours of sleep. Your immune system is there to ensure your body can fight infections and protect itself and quality sleep contributes to that. Sleep deprivation affects the immune system by reducing the number of antibodies that fight diseases. The time you spend sleeping is when your body is resting and can now focus on internal repairs. So, imagine what happens when you are barely sleeping or taking naps. Practice getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every day. At the same time, try to avoid oversleeping as it has its side effects. When you are well-rested, you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go about your day’s activities.
6. Put a limit on alcohol consumption
Drinking high amounts of alcohol affects the body and makes it vulnerable to diseases. Therefore, you should work on reducing your alcohol intake, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. Alcohol also hinders the body from performing critical roles such as fighting infections. Instead, it will keep the body busy with detoxifying itself since it has no way to store alcohol in the body, unlike it does with carbohydrates. Long term copious alcohol intake is known to cause liver disease, pneumonia, gastrointestinal cancer, etc. One drink for women and two drinks for men should be a moderate level of consumption per day. You can also stick to drinking more juice and non-caffeinated beverages.
7. Have a positive mind-set
A positive mindset is something people treat lightly and overlook when it comes to immunity. However, your mental health is also very influential in the fight against diseases and infections. Studies show that having a positive mindset or thoughts increases resistance to infections, whereas negative ones make you prone to common cold and flu. So, make it a point to practice meditating on positive thoughts and affirmations. You can start your mornings with meditation and telling yourself you’re going to have a good day. It will set the mood and is likely to put you in a good mood throughout the day. People who think positively are usually resilient, healthy, and deal better with anything that comes their way. When you wake up tomorrow morning, begin your day with some positive thoughts, pictures, and ideas to start your day on the right footing.
Including some of the above strategies into your lifestyle may not be that simple at the beginning when you are trying to adapt. However, after practicing these for about a month, you will find it more comfortable and start doing them without thinking. Consistently incorporate these activities into your routines to reap the benefits you want.
What healthy lifestyle do you have to boost your immune system? Let me know in the comments below!