The Importance of Your Immune System
On the whole, your immune system is remarkable at defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. However, sometimes a not-so-friendly germ may invade successfully and make you sick. Now more than ever, people are focusing on more natural ways to boost the immune system before getting sick. So, how can you improve your immune system? Are there steps you can take to boost your immune system and prevent this from happening? We’ve rounded up 5 small but effective ways to boost your immunity and ward off illness.
Drink plenty of water
Water is one of the most important and easiest ways to help support your body’s immune system. Within your circulatory system, lymph is a fluid that carries important immune cells that fight off infections. Lymph is primarily made of water, and when we are dehydrated, lymph movement slows down, resulting in a less efficient immune system. Be sure you are consistently drinking water throughout the day, even if you are not exercising or sweating. Your body naturally loses water from everyday activities like bowel movements to even just breathing. Drinking a glass of water between meals, before/after exercise, and if you feel thirsty is a great starting point to increase your daily water intake.
Physical exercise is not just for maintaining muscles and helping to de-stress after a long workday. It’s also an essential part of being healthy and supporting a healthy immune system. Exercising regularly helps your body to develop a more efficient circulatory system, thus making it easier for immune cells to travel quicker throughout the body. Daily exercise that looks like 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise can help stimulate the immune system. This can look like a run in the afternoon, a bike ride through the neighborhood or a few circuits of bodyweight exercises to get your heart rate up.
Get a good night’s sleep
One of the best ways to reset and recharge your immune system is to get a full night of sleep. Conversely, lack of sleep or inadequate amounts of sleep packs a punch on the immune system. Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses. On average, most adults need about 7 hours of sleep each night. One way to help improve your sleep pattern is to develop better sleep hygiene, including sleeping in a completely dark room, limiting screen time before bed, and having a regular bedtime routine.
Eat a well-balanced diet
One of the best ways to develop a strong immune system is through a healthy diet. A diet that includes eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat. A healthy diet will also provide your body with micronutrients that play a role in maintaining your immune systems, such as Vitamin E in almonds, seeds, peanut butter, and spinach and Vitamin C in citrus fruit, like oranges, grapefruit, and strawberries, as well as tomatoes and Vitamin B6 in chicken, salmon, bananas, and potatoes.