Winter is a perfect concoction of germ-spreading circumstances: cold and dry air, people spending more time indoors, less daylight, and holidays that lead to increased travel. Unsurprisingly, cold and flu season reaches its peak in mid-winter. If you want to minimize the likelihood that you will get sick, it’s important to learn how to keep your immune system strong.
How to Keep Your Immune System Strong
Boosting your body’s immunity isn’t a simple, clear-cut process. The immune system requires balance and harmony to function well, and researchers don’t fully understand its complexity. While we’re still exploring how lifestyle choices can impact immunity, it’s worthwhile to make healthy choices according to Harvard Health Publishing: “General healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.” To get started, follow these basic guidelines:
Keep Your Hands Clean
First, be kind to your immune system by limiting your germ exposure. The best way to do this is to wash your hands frequently, especially when traveling and visiting public places. Use soap and warm water, thoroughly scrubbing every part of your hands – from your fingertips to your wrists.
When choosing what to eat each day, emphasize vegetables and fruits as much as possible. Not only will they make you feel good, but they’ll also give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Experts recommend that you exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, incorporating both aerobic exercise and strength training. If that sounds intimidating, build up to it! Even one 30-minute workout once a week is better than nothing.
Don’t Slack on Sleep
Who doesn’t enjoy sleeping? Try to get a good night’s rest every night of the week, even if it requires you to shuffle your schedule around a bit. Do you often have trouble sleeping? Check out our blog post Tricks to Help You Sleep.
Visit Your Doctor
Schedule regular check-ups with your doctor to ensure that you’re in good health. At these appointments, be sure that you’re getting necessary vaccinations and asking any questions you have about your health.
Avoid Cigarettes and Excess Alcohol
It’s no surprise that smoking can compromise your health. Whatever your age, remember that it’s never too late to quit smoking. In addition, if you enjoy alcohol, remember to drink in moderation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, alcohol can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illness and infection.
Tame Your Stress
Everyone experiences stress from time to time. But if you have long-term, lasting stress, the steady stream of stress hormones may harm your immune system. Fortunately, some of the previous items on this list can help you manage your stress, including getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.
Unfortunately, not even experts truly know how to keep your immune system strong. Research in this field is ongoing, but some believe that healthy lifestyle choices may make a positive impact on the immune system, so why not give it a go? Even if this hypothesis proves incorrect, habits like exercising, eating a nutritious diet, and sleeping regularly will boost your health in other ways.
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