The leaves will be falling soon, the kids are back in school, and the sniffles are coming. This time of year often brings with it a rise in colds. Contrary to popular belief, chillier weather is not the cause of the increase in colds. Instead, people spending more time in closer quarters is the culprit of the spread of these viruses.
Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against these evil germs. Your immune system uses a system of chemicals and proteins in your body to fight off viruses, harmful bacteria, infections, and parasites. A stronger immune system means less chance of you getting sick.
Here are 7 tips to help build and keep a healthy immune system.
Get enough sleep Inadequate or poor quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Getting enough rest can naturally strengthen your immunity. Adults should aim to get 7 or more hours of sleep each night.
Keep a healthy gut Doctors believe that 80% of your immune system is in your gut. A diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods and antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and encourage good gut bacteria that helps establish a strong immune system.
Wash your hands frequently This should be a no-brainer. It’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Scrub for a good 20 seconds.
Eat more plants Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that may give you an upper hand against harmful pathogens.
Exercise Although prolonged intense exercise can suppress your immune system, moderate exercise can give it a boost.
Reduce Stress Long-term stress promotes inflammation, as well as imbalances in immune cell function. Activities that may help you manage your stress include meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga, and other mindfulness practices.
Take Vitamins Immunity boosters like Vitamin C help prepare your immune response for taking on illnesses and keeping you healthy.
Catching a cold is not fun, and as we enter the colder months and our kiddos are back in school, it important to stay healthy.