There’s no magic pill to boost your immune system. Sorry… I only wish I could hand some out. If you’re looking for ways to boost your immune system I can only pass on some advice. Things that might help.
I like to look at it this way: following these healthy living tips may stop you weakening your immune system. I’m sure we’ve all ended up with that run down feeling when we’ve stayed up late, been out drinking or skipped out on exercise.
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Medical Advice For Boosting Your Immune System
These tips are based on medical advice. You can read the latest here. Researchers are still struggling to understand fully how the immune system works. It’s complicated but most will agree that healthy living is a big help.
We may wish that eating endless cake or lounging on the couch will make us better at fighting illness but medical advice tells us it just isn’t true. So here goes for 8 tips to keep our immune systems top notch!
It’s hard to believe that people still smoke. Apart from making heartless tobacco companies rich… surely you know by now it’s not a good idea.
Smokers are a strange breed of deniers. Just because your friend’s Uncle Jo lived to 100 smoking 20 a day, it doesn’t mean that you will. The truth is you’ll be extremely lucky to make it to retirement.
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do if you want a healthy immune system. There’s a reason we’re taught in school not to smoke and there are other, (much healthier), ways to stay slim that don’t involve smelling like an exhaust pipe. So do yourself a favour and quit.
Start Eating Your Fruit And Veg
It’s centuries since sailors tested out what happens when you don’t eat your fruit and vegetables. At one time ship owners assumed a 50% death rate from scurvy on any major voyage! Gradually ship captains noticed the link between staying healthy and providing fresh fruit and vegetables for their crew.
Of course these days we understand micronutrients in fruit and vegetables are essential to our health. There are almost 30 vitamins and minerals our bodies can’t produce and we need to source these from food.
So if you want to stay healthy, or as healthy as possible, keep eating your fruit and veg. The government guidelines are 5 a day and more is even better.
We’re still a long way from proving exactly how or if exercise boosts your immune system. There are a lot of theories from boosting white blood cells to flushing bacteria out of the lungs and airways.
Current understanding is that regular exercise helps – just don’t overdo it. Moderate exercise will help you keep your weight under control and feel healthier. It’s certainly good for reducing stress.
Run, walk, cycle, workout at home… anything that gets you moving is good.
Get Your Weight Under Control
Did you know excess body fat, particularly abdominal fat, triggers the production of immune cells that actually harm our bodies? It’s a bit of a wake up call if you’re carrying excess pounds.
Yet dieting could do more harm than good. While slow and steady weight loss is good for your health, crash diets can lower your immune system performance. Aim for a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week, any faster and you’re putting your health at risk.
Cut Your Alcohol Intake
Just like smoking, surprise, surprise, alcohol is bad for you. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to a weakened immune system.
If your aim is a top notch immune system, cut back on your alcohol intake. I don’t want to be the fun police and the odd glass of wine is unlikely to make a difference. Yet if those occasional glasses start to add up – remember alcohol just isn’t that good for you.
Sleep deprivation messes with your immune system. When you sleep your body releases proteins called cytokines. Some of these are important for fighting infections. If you don’t get enough zzzs, you may not be producing enough of these handy proteins. Plus production of infection fighting antibodies and cells are also reduced.
So hit the pillow if you want to boost your immune system – or at least give it a fighting chance. A regular 7-8 hours sleep a night for adults, (9-10 for teenagers), has so many benefits – improved moods, weight loss… night owls take note.
Try To Reduce Stress
I know this is easier said than done but there are some ways to reduce your stress levels. The first is realising it’s a strange old world out there and often the things that stress you out the most will end up being insignificant.
Difficult life events materialise out of nowhere, totally unexpected. You can’t plan for the unknown so there’s no point getting stressed about any of the day-to-day stuff.
The media makes money scaring the living daylights out of us. Fear mongering headlines sell newspapers and get you clicking on links. Equally Governments love a crisis that deflects from their general incompetence. Don’t get sucked in. Limit your news intake to reduce your stress.
The best way to reduce stress is through exercise. Even better if you can get out in the fresh air for a walk or run. Mediation can also help if you’re able to switch off that overactive brain for just a few minutes.
Unless you’re living in a bunker isolated from the world (or self-isolating in a countrywide lockdown), it’s very hard to avoid all infections.
Certainly there are steps you can take such as washing your hands frequently and taking care with food preparation.
At some point this global pandemic will be over. Maybe out attitudes to life will be profoundly changed. We’ll live healthier lifestyles and care more about our bodies. I hope it doesn’t affect our daily lifestyles. I don’t want to live in a world where we avoid one another out of fear – a bunker mentality isn’t living life to the full.
There’s no magic pill to boost your immune system. Instead it’s a case of not weakening your immune system. Eat healthy food, sleep well, exercise regularly, quit smoking, watch your weight and cut down on alcohol. Try to reduce stress and avoid infections. Following these tips will help to keep your immune system at it’s best.