You have enough happening in your life to content with worrying about the strength of your immune system. Your time is precious... yet so is your health.
Your immune system is like a machine. It can get worn down, stop functioning as efficiently and become less effective. On the flip side, there are proven things you can do to tune up your immune system and get it working as effectively as possible.
Here is a look at six great immune boosting techniques that can help make an impact.
1. De-stressing Techniques
Add stress to the list of bad things in your life that makes it difficult for your immune system to work smoothly. Stress lowers your white blood cell count. Thus, a little meditation can go a long way in the fight against cold and flu season.
Practicing easy relaxation techniques can help you regulate your stress (i.e. deep breathing, meditation, yoga and exercise). You know, hitting the treadmill or doing other cardio has increases endorphins, the natural hormones in the body that help improve sleep patters and happiness.
2. Adequate Sleep
Sleep is the body’s way of recharging it's batteries - and that applies directly to the immune system as anything. Researchers recommend getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night on a regular basis. Get less than that, and you’re putting your immune system at risk.
Making a bedtime routine can help ensure that you get an mple amount of shut-eye. This will settle your mind into knowing when it’s time to unwind for the evening. Try not to watch TV or work on the computer just before turning off the lights. These activities stimulate the brain, making it harder to wind down. Also avoid drinking too much caffeine throughout the day... unless you need it, like some of us (cough!).
3. Balanced Diet
You may not think that large pizza and protein shake you ate for dinner is not linked to your flu, but you’d be surprised. A diet that is high in saturated fat and glucose has been linked to immune system suppression. Studies show that too mcuh sugar or saturated fat in the diet reduces the effectiveness of your white blood cells to ward off infection in the body.
Check the labels on food packages to make sure you’re diet is well-balanced. Try not to eat too much red meat, which is high in saturated fat - instead, switch to lean proteins like chicken or fish to help round out your diet.
4. Regular Exercise
Exercise is for much more than weight loss. Studies show that 20 minutes or more of fitness three times a week both lowers your risk for major diseases like heart disease and diabetes, but also helps boost your immune system, helping it ward off illness.
Remember that being active doesn't mean you have to whip out your Rubberbanditz assisted pull-up bands or powerlifting bands! Just turn off the TV and take a walk around the block if that is what you fancy. Find activities you enjoy so exercise doesn’t become a chore you’re not likely to continue long term.
5. More Antioxidants
These tiny good-guys are on the front lines in the battle against illness. That’s because these super-nutrients are the primary weapon against free radicals, the little buggers that wreak havoc on the immune system, as well as other processes that go on in the body. Antioxidants are found in abundance in many fruits and vegetables - FYI!
A good hearty laugh is just what the doctor orders again and again! Scientists explain that laughter not increases white blood cells, but is also correlated with stress hormones in your body... this is no laughing matter!
So pick up the newspaper and read the funnies. Go pull a prank or watch little kids try to dance. Ha ha ha ha.