Lifestyle Changes that will Strengthen the Immune System | Muse Health
Health Immune System COVID-19
As the year dwindles down and cold weather takes over, the likelihood of becoming sick increases exponentially. There is a commonly spoken notion that as humans, we have one body and should do everything in our power to take care of it. One aspect of making great decisions is understanding the immune system and its importance.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that assist the body in fighting off infection from outside contagions. These can be bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Being a network of several moving parts, the immune system relies on a multi-pronged approach that is highlighted by making positive and healthy lifestyle changes.
Although it may seem intimidating, there are easy changes that a person can make to help strengthen the immune system. These changes will not come into effect overnight but with consistency, your immune system will improve.
Can you boost the immune system naturally?
When it comes to anything health-related, the majority of people look for ways to accomplish these goals naturally. Without the interference of pills or medicines, the body is able to work in its most natural form and create changes that last for longer periods of time.
The journey to a strong immune system is much harder said than done. There are several dietary and lifestyle changes that a person must commit to in order for change to not only happen but sustain itself. The human body is constantly changing and all parts of it can react positively or negatively to certain stimuli.
Although a tough journey, a person can boost the immune system through careful planning and by taking action.
Below you’ll learn of some ways to boost your immune system naturally.
Lifestyle changes that strengthen the immune system
It might sound simple but getting enough sleep is very important when looking to improve the function of your immune system. Although stated by doctors everywhere, sleep and immune system strength are highly linked.
People who have irregular sleep patterns tend to be the same ones who find themselves getting sick regularly.
In a clinical study performed by Aric A Prather and affiliates, it was discovered that out of 164 adults, those who slept fewer than 6 hours per night had a higher correlation of catching a common cold.
It is said that adults should aim for 7 hours of sleep per night, while teenagers need around 8-10. During those hours of sleep, the body goes through the process of rejuvenation and rebuilding. Without adequate sleep, you’re doing your body a disservice as it never has enough time to recharge itself.
For people who have trouble falling asleep, there are certain changes you can implement to your nighttime routine. It’s very rare to find someone who is not addicted to their phone these days. While it can be tempting to check emails or scroll through your Instagram feed one more time before calling it a night, screen time causes a psychological effect on the brain that leaves it alert. If you find yourself being one of those people who is always on their phone, put it away 30 minutes before going to sleep and allow your brain to focus on relaxing.
Other things you can do include buying an eye mask and sleeping in a dark room. Some people like having some kind of light inside of their room as they sleep. However, extra light can act as a distraction, making it harder to relax.
There is no way around the fact that regular exercise is important. Exercise has several benefits such as being a stress reliever and a mood booster. Many people are turned off by the idea of exercise because they view it as a long strenuous endeavor. Exercise does not have to be inside the confines of a gym. Finding something you like to do enhances the probability of creating a habit. Regular exercise also helps reduce hypertension or high blood pressure by engaging the cardiovascular system.
For example, if you like playing tennis, find someone around your neighborhood to hit with for a few hours every single week. Tennis is a naturally socially distanced sport meaning that you can stay on one end of the court and your partner can stay on the next.
It is recommended that you exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. If you take into consideration all of the time you spend watching television or Netflix, you can rearrange your schedule to include more exercise.
It’s not a hyperbole to say that stress can completely destroy your immune system. Increased stress levels have been proven to lower white blood cell count inside the body. With lower white blood cells, a person's susceptibility to getting sick greatly increases.
While life can sometimes be unbearable, it’s important to find something that you enjoy and can use as an escape. Finding an escape provides mental health benefits and can also help with obtaining quality sleep.
One of the most common relaxation techniques is meditation. An effective way to make meditation work is to find a quiet place and keep all major distractions hidden. It’s important to focus your breath and relax with each inhale and exhale. Meditation is also a great way to visualize and let your mind wander.
Reducing stress is a long process but if you work on making it a habit, you’ll find yourself addressing several health problems while building healthy habits.
Eating a vitamin-rich diet
When it comes to overall health, what you eat makes up a major part. A healthy and balanced diet allows for optimum exposure to a variety of vitamins that help your immune system continue fighting off diseases. Nutrition is a person’s primary protection against infectious diseases which is why the foods you eat make a major impact on your physical state.
Some important vitamins to consume are A, C, E, and D, and some minerals to consider are zinc and iron.
There are a plethora of foods that are rich in these vitamins. A few to consider are carrots, bell peppers, almonds, strawberries, and avocados. Vitamin D, A, and C are also antioxidants meaning that they add to immune response and assist in fighting inflammatory issues.
You don’t have to limit yourself to fruits and vegetables. You can find these same vitamins in foods like salmon, tuna, chicken breast, and beef.
A diet filled with vitamin-rich foods promotes healthy living, wellness, body weight stability, and helps fight off heart disease.
Healthy eating gets a bad reputation because people assume that you have to stick with a very limited amount of options. That is not the case at all and with a little imagination, you can make great recipes that also are healthy and vitamin-rich.
For example, this recipe for garlic roasted salmon and Brussels sprouts is packed with amazing flavor while still being incredibly healthy. There are several other recipes out there that can add variety to your menu.
Making changes to your lifestyle can be a daunting task. Especially when it comes to something as complex as the immune system, you have to make sure to have a plan of action for healthcare. Your health is an investment worth making. With the implementation of a few simple yet powerful changes, you can take control of your health and boost immune system strength. A healthy immune system boosts the body's defense system which can help ease anything from the common cold to chronic disease.