Building and maintaining a strong immune system is important to function at your best. The weaker your immune system the more susceptible you are to infections and disease, including COVID-19. In this blog post we'll explore 5 ways you can boost your immune system and strengthen your body's defenses.
Manage Stress Unfortunately today's fast-paced personal and professional lives leave no shortage of stressful moments. How you manage it can directly impact the health of your immune system. Some simple stresses, like traffic or long lines at the DMV are out of our control and are not what we're focused on here. It's the kind of stress that we experience on a regular basis that affects our ability to get things done, like financial or relationship stress. Excessive stress impacts a number of bodily functions, especially your immune system. If possible, make a plan to address these issues and take control of the situation before it takes control of you. If you feel it is outside your control, don't hesitate to seek professional help like an in-person or virtual counselor. You can also try adding meditation to your routine to help manage your stress.
Eat Healthy We know that healthy eating habits are important to manage things like our weight and heart health, but it can also help your immune system function at its best. You don't have to become a nutritionist to make a difference here. Start by replacing some of your snacks with fruits and vegetables. If you have trouble getting a well balanced diet, which results in deficiencies in various vitamins and minerals, consider adding a quality multivitamin to your daily routine.
Get Some Germs Sounds weird, right? Well, in a world of hand sanitizer around every corner we are not allowing ourselves (especially our children) to become exposed to low-threat germs which are critical in helping our bodies build it's defenses (aka your immune system). By no means are we saying to live dangerously and risk exposure to dangerous viruses like COVID-19. It is important to wash your hands often and protect yourself against threats like this. However, if you find yourself being a total germaphobe you could be missing out on the opportunities to teach your body what it needs to do to build strong defenses. Get outside. Take a walk. Play in the grass. Get a little dirty, then wash your hands.
Get Enough Sleep In a world of 40+ (for many it can be 50+) hour work weeks we can easily fall into a routine of putting sleep last on the priority list. Its hard to fit everything in sometimes. Ideally, we'd love to see you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Don't over schedule yourself at work if you can avoid it. Scale back a little with those kid's activities. You may want your child in 4 different sports, but if you are getting sick regularly its going to be difficult to be there to support them. Share responsibilities with others in the home so it doesn't all fall on you. A monkey could learn to vacuum. It's not rocket science. Also, avoid caffeine intake after 3pm.
Stay Hydrated Water is like gasoline for your immune engine. Without it you're not going to get far. In fact, your body is made up of nearly 60% water. It serves a number of vital functions within the body like regulating temperature, aids in digestion, helps deliver oxygen throughout the body, and you guessed it, supports your immune system. A few ways to boost your water intake is to drink a tall glass of water everyday as soon as you wake up, get a reusable water bottle to keep at your desk or workspace, and download a free app for your phone that helps you track your water intake. Aim for 8-10 eight oz. glasses a day at a minimum.