Most people understand the importance of a healthy heart, the ability to take a deep breath and healthy musculoskeletal system to improve their quality of life, but many people have never thought about caring for their immune system…until just recently.
A strong immune system can protect you from the common cold, a stomach virus, and (YES!) even COVID-19.
During the last 2 months, the fear of coronavirus has taken hold of many of us, to the point of a complete LOSS OF CONTROL of our lives. That loss of control has frustrated many, created fear for many, and paralyzed many.
BUT, there is a way to take that CONTROL back. Strengthen your immune system!
So, I felt it was time to tackle this topic and help you get back in control of your life. Here are the 7 best ways to strengthen your Immune system.
7 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System
Get Outside- While many of us may think, or been told, that staying away from others and staying home is the best thing for us. So, many people are staying cooped up and binge-watching Netflix, which is not the best option for your immune system. The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your health and sense of well-being. So, get out there and enjoy the outdoors—especially now as spring has sprung.
Stay Positive (minimize TV and Facebook)- A big part of building your immune system involves your sense of well-being and ability to keep yourself calm. That’s a bit oversimplified…in the world of medicine we are talking about your sympathetic nervous system (your fight of flight system) versus your parasympathetic nervous system (the system that slows your heart rate and calms you down). The more time that you spend with your sympathetic system firing, the more time that the immune system is suppressed. Minimizing your time in front of Facebook and the TV (and looking at bad news) will improve your immune system.
Exercise- Regular exercise is essential for optimal function of the immune system. Also, exercise will cause you to take deeper breath, that will expand your lungs and help to make sure there are no viruses that can take hold in the lungs.
Eat Better- This is a simple solution that you have heard many times. Make sure you eat a balanced diet including citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, poultry, and shellfish among others.
Drink Better- If you are still drinking sugary drinks with artificial sugars or are drinking alcohol on a regular basis, this is an immediate area to consider. My advice is to add water and green tea (which is an immune enhancer).
Mind Your Mind- This will keep your immune system up by increasing your use of the parasympathetic system. The use of meditation, deep breathing and prayer has been shown to improve mental “rest” and improve immune response.
Get More Sleep! – This is possible the most important thing that you can do for your immune system. Get at least 8 hours of sleep to improve your immune system. Avoid blue light devices for at least 1 hour before bed, implement a night time routine, and improve the above 6 strategies to improve the quality of those 8 hours.
There may be a silver lining to this whole Coronavirus pandemic—and that is that maybe (hopefully) some people will start to develop improved habits and will improve their healthy lifestyle choices.
The Human immune system is a living system in your body and needs to be used and taken care of the same as you would care for your heart, liver, and muscles. If you implement some of these changes, it can make major changes and improvements to your health.
And we will all be healthier when the next virus comes along.
Stay calm and healthy!