Your immune system is one of the hardest working systems of your body – fighting off disease-causing microorganisms both day and night. Occasionally, though, a germ will sneak through this protective barrier, and you’ll suffer the consequences. Researchers are investigating the multitude of ways that lifestyle impacts immune function – and evidence shows that there are some small things you can do to give this important system a bit of a boost.
While there are many different ways to strengthen the immune system, this article will focus on some natural tricks that can help your body’s immune response more efficient and effective. Making just a few changes to your lifestyle and taking advantage of some immune-boosting tips can get you on your way to improved health and wellness.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You’ll benefit from improved cardiovascular health, lowered blood pressure, a controlled body weight, and even protection from a range of different diseases. Staying active is a great way to enhance your health – and therefore, enhance your immune function.
Your immune system will also benefit from increased circulation, thanks to regular exercise. This will allow the cells and substances released during your body’s immune response move through the body more freely – doing their job with increased efficiency.
Get your vitamins.
While there are supplements you can take to ensure you’re getting the recommended amounts of the important vitamins and minerals your body needs to function effectively, it’s better to get them from eating a healthy diet. Deficiencies of certain micronutrients, including zinc, copper, iron, or vitamins A, B6, C, and E, have shown to alter the immune response in animals.
If you can’t incorporate more whole foods and vegetables into your diet, you should find a multivitamin or mineral supplement to ensure your immune system is able to operate efficiently.
It’s easy to neglect sleep – with all the other things in your life that require your time and attention, sleep is often the first thing to get pushed aside. However, if you’re not getting enough rest, you will see the impact directly on your immune system – which will be compromised without sufficient sleep.
Shoot for at least eight hours each night. This is your body’s opportunity to heal and restore damaged tissues and cells, and if you prevent this function from occurring, the rest of your body’s systems – including your immune system – won’t be able to function as effectively.
Stress can wreak havoc on your immune system. Increased levels of cortisol can actually suppress the immune system and your body’s inflammatory pathways, making you much more susceptible to infection and disease. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive problems – as well as symptoms like anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Take time each day to unwind. This means relaxing both your body and your mind – which can be easily accomplished through activities like yoga, meditation, or even just relaxing in the bathtub with a good book. Whatever you can do to reduce your stress levels will contribute to a healthier, stronger immune system.
Hit the steam shower or sauna at your gym after a workout, or consider installing one into your own bathroom at home. Not only does the steam help you relax, it promotes healthy, deep breathing, increased circulation, and helps detoxify your body – all important elements in keeping your immune system functioning efficiently.
Toxins build up in your body through things like pollution, the foods you eat, and even your body’s normal metabolic reactions. While your body does actively work to clear these toxins out, you can help by drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and spending time in a sauna or steam shower to sweat them out.
Try to incorporate as many of these tips into your daily routine as possible to gain the most benefit. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy an enhanced immune response and feel stronger and healthier. However, if you notice that your immune system is still not performing as well as you feel it should be, it might be time to visit a health care professional to see if there is an underlying cause contributing to your lowered immune function.