Trying to stay in the best shape on a day-to-day basis is something that we all aspire to do, especially those of us who suffer from things like seasonal allergies, hay fever, or are just more prone to getting a bit sniffly every time the weather changes.
Our immune systems alone do their best to keep us away from these daily struggles as well as all sorts of diseases for the most part, and overall, it’s a strong enough powerhouse to run just fine on its own. However, most of us would prefer not to compromise our white blood cells for the sake of health testing to see how far they can run before we inevitably end up in bed for at least a week. There are definitely some actions that we can take proactively to not only boost our immunity but to try and ensure that we completely sidestep the small sniffles, coughs, aches, and pains that we all experience every now and then.
1. Daily Exercise
There may not be an entirely obvious link between immunity and exercise, but you’d be surprised what sort of a difference a daily 30-minute walk could make! Aside from the plethora of benefits, regular exercising has to offer anyway (so really, you’d be hitting two birds with one stone!), it also is great to boost your immune system as well.
Exercise has been known to reduce the chances of inflammation and also gives your white blood cells a chance to regenerate regularly giving it all the more reason to work more efficiently. The exercises don’t have to be intense at all and could include something like daily walks, weekly swimming, or even a 30-minute bike ride.
2. Hydration is Key
Whilst you’re getting your daily steps in, make sure you don’t forget to monitor your water intake too. Water is a key component that makes up a large percentage of our body, so it’s all the more important that you make sure that you refuel your body throughout the day, especially as being thirsty isn’t always a very obvious sign.
Although it does not directly help against germs or viruses, dehydration is something you want to generally avoid to stay in good health. It’s not obvious in a day, but if not drinking enough fluids becomes a habit, then you run the risk of forming kidney complications because the system will have to work harder, and can even affect things like your concentration/focus levels and your mood. A lot of tiredness might be due to dehydration without you even realizing it, so it’s best to make sure you are adequately hydrated so as not to put unnecessary pressure on your immune system.
3. Getting Adequate Sleep
Some people love their sleep, while others are willing to sacrifice more of it than they should for work or to binge the latest season on Netflix. Whichever category you fall into, getting enough sleep plays a bigger role in how efficiently our immune systems run than you might imagine.
Sleep allows for all sorts of cells in your body to rest and regenerate for the following day, so if you’re not doing enough of it, your organs and cells aren’t getting a chance to properly heal either and will be working overtime, which will eventually lead to them not working optimally. Adults should aim for around at least 7 hours of sleep, teenagers need around 8-10 hours of sleep and children can sleep anywhere up to 14 hours. As life gets more and more hectic, adults tend to sideline their sleep more than any other group, but it’s definitely a factor to take into consideration for your general well-being.
4. Aim for a Healthy Diet
As these other factors are linked to how good your immunity is, your diet is a big factor as well which determines how strong your immune system is. You should be aiming to eat plenty of vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole-grain foods and all of these should make up the majority of your diet.
You might have a good diet but it may not include foods that are naturally high in nutrients such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, or Vitamin E for example. Foods that are good for these
include; potatoes, salmon, vegetables, bananas, broccoli, spinach, sunflower oil, and many more. Some of these foods are great at fighting off inflammatory viruses or diseases and can even reduce the risk of developing something like diabetes in the long run, so it’s a good idea to incorporate healthy foods into your diet.
5. Regulate Your Stress Levels
Stress is another factor like sleep, that won’t take an immediate toll on your health overnight, but too much stress will eventually start to affect your immune system and general health if you aren’t taking proper care of yourself.
Whilst our bodies are equipped to deal with stress, they aren’t designed to deal with stress over a prolonged period of time consecutively, and will eventually end up suppressing your immune system which means that you’re much more likely to become sick and contract an illness or infection. Although there are definitely a lot of factors that play a role in how stressed we are on a day-to-day basis, there are definitely things you can do to try and relieve that stress. Making the time for activities such as yoga, meditation or journaling can all make a bigger difference than you can imagine, even if it’s a mere 5-10 minutes per day.