Whether you’re in the midst of cold and flu season or are routinely exposed to other illnesses throughout the rest of the year, your immune system is the best tool you have. A healthy immune system can ward off some diseases and drastically improve the recovery time for others with limited medical assistance. If you want to boost your immune system to reduce your chances of getting sick and maintain a healthier lifestyle, use these five tips to get started.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining weight and boosting the immune system. When we consume a diet full of refined grains and processed foods, our bodies don’t get the vitamins and nutrients they need to operate at top performance. Similarly, eating too much of one food group and not enough of another can result in a lack of nutrition. Not only is a lack of nutrition harmful to the immune system, but it also harms the body in the form of eating disorders. The Center For Discovery works to teach people how to properly fuel their bodies in a healthy way.
Proper nutrition is crucial for a healthy immune system. It is best to eat a variety of foods from each of the major food groups, but prepping a nutritious meal plan can seem overwhelming for beginners. Establishing healthy eating habits is easier when you realize you can start by making a few simple swaps such as substituting whole grains for refined flour. There are many fueling and nourishing tips available to help you establish a healthy diet.
Get Plenty of Restful Sleep
When we sleep, our bodies are able to repair and regenerate themselves so they are ready for another day. The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel rested and energized, but the quality is even more important than quantity when it comes to sleep. You may feel less energized after nine hours of fitful slumber than you do after five hours of restful sleep, so it is important to strive for plenty of restful sleep each night. Implementing the following practices may help improve the quality of your sleep.
- Set a strict bedtime and wake-up time and adhere to it as much as possible.
- Make sure the bedroom stays at a comfortable temperature.
- Invest in a high-quality mattress.
- Avoid screens for at least one hour before bed.
- Do a relaxing activity right before bed.
Spend Time Outside
Not only does Vitamin D help regulate the immune system, but it also helps the body absorb calcium to fortify bones and improves other body functions. You can obtain Vitamin D through foods such as mushrooms and fatty fish, but one of the best and most efficient ways to get the vitamin is through sunlight. Make it a habit to spend a little time outside on sunny days to boost your immune system. Whether you’re tending to a garden, laying out for a tan or playing a sports game, being outside is a great way to lift your spirits while improving your immune system.
Practice Good Hygiene
Your immune system may be your best tool for fighting off illnesses, but it will have to work overtime if you fail to practice good hygiene habits. You should wash your hands often and try to avoid touching your face. Washing your body daily and hair at least once a week can help remove germs as well as improve your appearance so you have more confidence. Keeping your home clean and free from excessive germs is also important for your health.
Everyone knows that exercise is important for losing weight and building muscle, but it is also a great way to keep the body functioning properly. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the stress on your immune system so it can effectively fight against various diseases. There are dozens of physical activities you can do to get your body moving, so whether you enjoy swimming, dancing or biking, you can perform activities you like so you are more likely to keep them up long term. If you’re new to exercising, commit to making it a lifelong habit so you can reap the benefits of a healthier immune system.