A strong immune system is key to maintaining your health and defending yourself from disease-causing germs, viruses, and bacteria. A healthy lifestyle can be instrumental in enhancing your immune system.
With COVID-19 still raging, the threat of infection and re-infection is far from over. Until the COVID wave subsides, the best way to continue your daily battle against the pandemic is to keep yourself well-prepared. Strengthening your immune system is your best defense in the current situation.
It’s possible to boost your immune system naturally. If you are looking for medicine-free ways to boost your immunity, then here are some tips to help you:
1. Keep Your Stress Levels in Check
Stress in moderation can help you achieve difficult tasks. For example, a looming deadline gives the essential adrenalin rush to get your project done. But chronic stress is bad and can lead to several chronic diseases, including those of the heart. Chronic stress also affects your immune system.
Take things as they come and go with the flow where needed. Do not let worry consume you all the time. Allow yourself some quality time off, to relax and unwind.
2. Nourish Your Body the Right Way
Good food that provides excellent nourishment is key to building your immune system. This is because good food equips the body with nutrients important for immune function.
Animal studies show that deficiency of micronutrients such as zinc, copper, folic acid, iron, selenium and copper, modifies their immune response. Presence of vitamins, including E, C, B6 and A, is also crucial for normal immune response.
Good food consists of vegetables and fruits of all colors. Add milk of the low-fat or fat-free variety to your diet. Whole grain varieties and lean protein are also a must.
Eating good also means limiting unhealthy foods. Reduce your intake of foods with added sugars, salt, cholesterol and saturated fats.
3. Exercise Regularly and Stay Active Physically
Keeping fit physically through exercise is basic to healthy living. With regular exercise, you can protect your body from several germ-causing diseases, infections and chronic ailments. Good food along with exercise helps you control weight and reduces anxieties.
With regular exercise, you are also more likely to feel better and sleep better. Other benefits of regular exercise include improved heart health and controlled blood pressure.
If you are not the exercising type, then being physically active can help. It is crucial to keep your body moving. Vulnerability to diseases increases when you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Physical activity levels differ with age. For example, kids aged 3 to 5 years need to be physically active throughout the day. Enjoyable activities such as outdoor games are a great choice.
Older kids and adolescents need 1 hour of intense physical activity every day. They can benefit from activities such as running, push-ups, climbing and jumping ropes. Activities that strengthen their bones and muscles are a must.
Adults benefit from 150 minutes of physical activity over a period of a week. Moderately intense activities such as brisk walking contribute to health and a strengthened immune system. Muscle-strengthening activities are recommended 2 days a week.
Older adults (65 years and more) can benefit from 150 minutes of moderately intense activities such as brisk walking. In addition, muscle-strengthening and balance-improving activities are key to maintaining health and immune function.
Pregnant women as well as women in their postpartum period can also benefit from moderate intensity exercises. Those with chronic conditions and disabilities too can strengthen their immune system function with physical activities. Consult your doctor for recommendations on the type and extent of physical activities required.
A strong immune system protects you from the risk of diseases and enables you to enjoy life more actively.
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4. Keep Your Weight at a Healthy Level
Healthy weight is important for a stronger immune system. A Body Mass Index or BMI equal to 30 or above in adults, has been associated with a poor immune function.
Healthy diet, reduced stress, adequate sleep, and regular physical activity, are important to maintain a healthy weight.
5. Get Sufficient Sleep
Poor sleep is detrimental to the immune system, say several research studies. In addition to decreasing immune function, poor sleep increases the risk of a wide range of disorders.
Being physically active, limiting screen time before bed, avoiding a heavy dinner, and following a consistent bedtime pattern, are some ways to improve your sleep.
6. Be Active Socially
A healthy social life is linked to a stronger immune system. Good friends and relationships keep you happy and engaged. You feel valued when you are part of a loving community.
If meeting people in person is not possible, then keep your communication channels open. Talk to your friends and loved ones daily to keep the connections alive.
7. Learn to See the Bright Side of Life
Did you know looking at the bright side of life builds your body’s immune protection?
A positive attitude motivates you to take an action rather than dwelling on the problem. When you are clear about your purpose, you are less likely to be stressed out focusing on the problem. This shift in mindset reduces stress and reduces any negative impact on the immune system.
A positive mindset also means laughing often. Research has shown that immune systems in people that laughed their heart out after watching funny videos worked better.
Include a little humor in your life and laugh whenever possible. Laughter reduces stress and there are no side-effects of laughter.
8. Slash Your Alcohol Use and Quit Smoking
Smoking reduces your body’s ability to fight diseases and increases your susceptibility to immune system disorders. Staying away from smoking is so much better.
» Learn more: Life Insurance for Smokers and Tobacco Users
Whether it is a social gathering or a reason to celebrate, alcohol peeps its head. When consumed within limits, alcohol is not damaging to your health. But excessive intake reduces the efficacy of your body’s defenses. Excessive alcohol intake over time weakens your immune system and you will find yourself falling ill often.
To stay in the best of your health, limit your alcohol intake to 2 or less drinks a day, if you are a man. For women, one drink or less a day is the limit.
A strong immune system protects you from the risk of diseases and enables you to enjoy life more actively. Start implementing these natural ways for strengthening your immune system for a better quality of life.
Better health means a longer lifespan. A healthier person also gets better life insurance rates.
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