Your immune system is one of the most important bodily functions that you have. It helps you fight illness and can even help you resist getting sick in the first place. If you hate the idea of catching a cold or taking sick days off work, then it’s a good idea to try and boost your immune system to help you overcome illness.
But how exactly do you improve your immune system? What should you do to improve your health, and is there anything you can do to speed up the process?
In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the simplest yet most effective ways to boost your immune system and become more resistant to illness.
Engaging in exercise to help boost your immune system
Studies have shown that exercise can help boost your immune system. It can even boost the effectiveness of vaccines in people that have a weakened immune system. In addition, regular moderate exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation in your body and even help your immune cells regenerate regularly.
But what exactly does moderate exercise imply? In most cases, you can consider activities such as bicycling, jogging, swimming, hiking, or even just walking to be moderate exercise. It shouldn’t tire out your muscles and it shouldn’t stress out your body and cause you to sweat. However, it should get your heart racing a little and you should be able to feel it in your body. Moderate exercise like this tends to be low-impact and is generally achievable by just being more active on a daily basis.
It’s also possible to achieve this in very small ways. For example, you can get off your bus a stop early just to walk a little more before you reach your destination. You could also consider gardening to look after your backyard while engaging in some low-impact exercise. Doing chores around the house can also be a good method of moderate exercise. As long as you’re more active throughout the day, you’ll find that it’s easy to maintain a healthy body that boosts your immune system.
However, it’s important not to go overboard when exercising. Working out too much can put your body in a vulnerable state that makes you susceptible to illness. If you’ve ever worked out for a long time and noticed yourself getting ill, then it’s because our body can’t really deal with the stress that comes with intensive exercise. As such, you always need to take a break to slowly build up your tolerance.
Get more sleep
Sleep is severely overlooked as a way to boost your immune system. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can actually be linked with susceptibility to illness. If you’re not getting enough sleep, then it’s easy for you to get ill. In general, you should aim to sleep at least 7 hours a night if you want to keep your immune system in good condition. Younger children will often need more hours of sleep a day to help protect their body, but adults can generally get by with 6 to 7 hours.
The quality of sleep you get is also very important. There are a couple of ways to improve this, such as limiting screen time before you go to bed and trying to maintain a steady sleep cycle so that your body can get used to a natural wake-sleep cycle. You may also want to consider sleeping in a dark room with a cool temperature that doesn’t make you sweat. It may also help to practice a bedtime ritual to help you get to sleep more easily.
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Aim for a healthier diet
One of the best ways to fight against illness is to actually consume more nutrients and antioxidants. Whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, and nuts are full of great nutrients that can help you build a stronger immune system that fights against harmful pathogens and generally prevents illness. This is because antioxidants in food can decrease inflammation across your body. It achieves this by fighting against the free radicals in your body that cause inflammation when they build up in high levels. In other words, antioxidants are a great way to boost your natural defences.
Free radicals can cause many different conditions because it eventually leads to chronic inflammation. This is linked with many different health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and even cancer. As such, it’s a great idea to consume more whole plant foods in order to build up your natural immune system and combat free radicals.
In addition, the fibre in plant foods can actually feed your gut microbiome, helping to improve your immunity and fight against harmful pathogens that can enter your body through your digestive system. Whenever you eat something contaminated that your body doesn’t agree with, your gut microbiome can effectively fight against it and protect your body. In order to do this, you should aim to consume more foods that promote a healthy community of bacteria in your gut.
Fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C can also help improve your immune system, effectively making illnesses shorter. Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and even potatoes. Of course, you should always aim to consume these whole instead of eating processed versions that come with additives or are cooked in unhealthy ways. The more clean and pure your diet is, the better your immune system will be!
Lastly, it’s also a good idea to consume more healthy fats. While many people know that fats can be unhealthy, it’s actually important to consider where those fats come from. For example, olive oil used in salads and fatty fish like salmon are perfect for protecting your immune system and decreasing inflammation. They’re packed full of healthy nutrients and can help reduce the risk of developing a chronic disease such as heart disease or type-2 diabetes.
In short, it’s all about maintaining a healthy diet with pure whole foods and fewer additives. The cleaner your food is, the more nutrients you’ll get from it which ultimately leads to a healthier lifestyle and a strong immune system.
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Consider supplements to help give you a needed boost
Many people overlook the power of supplements. Alternatively, they might overestimate what supplements can do. There’s usually no middle ground when it comes to supplements, hence why most people fail to understand the benefits that they come with.
When looking at supplements, it’s important to realize that their intended purpose is to offer us more nutrients that we normally wouldn’t get from our diet. For example, if you find it difficult to consume healthy fats, you may want to consider some kind of fish oil supplement. Alternatively, there are plant sources for omega-3 fatty acids that you’d normally get from fish, such as chia seeds, walnuts, and algal oil. These are great alternatives that can help ensure that you get plenty of nutrients that would otherwise be difficult to get due to your diet.
It’s also a good idea to consider newer or more unique supplements. For example, there are many reishi benefits to consider, such as how it can support your liver, promote mental clarity, and even boost your immune system. These kinds of supplements are often derived from natural ingredients that would otherwise be hard to find, expensive to buy, or just difficult to use. By investing in these supplements, you can give your body the nutrient boost it needs to sustain a healthy immune system.
However, you need to remember that supplements must be taken over a long period of time for you to start noticing any kind of effect. Even then, it’s often difficult to notice that you’re not getting sick as quickly as you were before. In other words, your immune system provides an invisible barrier to help you stay healthy. If it’s working correctly, then you’re not even going to pay much attention to it.
Sustaining better lifestyle choices
In general, boosting and maintaining your immune system is all about making effective lifestyle changes, changing your diet, and taking supplements to help fill in those nutrient gaps that you’re missing. If you’re willing to make healthy changes to your lifestyle, then you’ll find it very easy to boost your immune system and not even notice that you’re getting ill.
Of course, that’s not to say that you’re never ever going to get ill again. However, the rate at which you experience something like a common cold is going to be much lower, and you’ll certainly notice yourself recovering from an illness much more quickly than you were before.
Hopefully, this article has given you some idea on how to boost your immune system and how you can resist illnesses on a day to day basis. As long as you stick to these basic principles and focus on improving your body overall, you’ll be able to develop a strong immune system.