6 Tips To Boost Your Immunity
Your immune system protects you from illness and disease, from the common cold to cancer. You may think your immune system operates on its own, but your lifestyle and health practices significantly impact your body’s ability to fight off intruders and inflammation. While there’s no silver bullet to make your immune system work better, ramping up your health habits can help boost your immunity. Here are a few strategies.
- Eat healthy foods
You indeed are what you eat. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes will give your body valuable nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants attack unstable compounds in your body called free radicals, which cause inflammation that can lead to some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases.
You can also decrease inflammation and boost your immune response by eating foods containing healthy fatty acids. Seek out olive oil, avocado, nuts, fatty fish, eggs and even dark chocolate.
Remember, eating well also means avoiding foods that are high in saturated fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.
- Get enough sleep
According to research from the University of California San Francisco, people who sleep less than six hours a night are four times more likely to catch a cold. Adults require at least seven hours of sleep per night, teens need eight to 10 hours and younger children need up to 14 hours.
Blue light from phones, tablets or televisions can disrupt sleep rhythms, so avoid screen time before bed. You can also try using an eye mask to block light, having a regular bedtime and getting regular exercise.
- Reduce alcohol intake and quit smoking
Smoking harms your body in many ways, such as increasing your risk of cancer and lung disease and degrading your immune system. Drinking too much alcohol over time also compromises your immune system.
- Stay hydrated
Dehydration can cause headaches and low energy, negatively impacting your physical performance, mood, digestion and kidney and heart functions. Drink enough fluid to turn your urine a pale yellow, but avoid liquids with added sugars, sweeteners or calories. Water is always a great choice.
A general rule of thumb says to drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you don’t feel thirsty anymore. However, older adults should drink fluids even when they don’t feel thirsty because their bodies fail to signal thirst adequately. Drink more when you exercise, work outdoors or live in a hot climate.
- Exercise regularly
You don’t have to become a gym rat or fitness fanatic to reap the many benefits of regular exercise. Even moderate physical activity like walking increases serotonin and dopamine levels and decreases cortisol levels, which all positively affect your immune system. Exercise also increases circulation, reduces inflammation and helps the immune cells regenerate within your body.
Additional benefits include improving your mood, reducing anxiety, improving sleep and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Don’t let injuries or nagging pains go untreated and keep you from the physical activities you enjoy. Physiotherapy exercises help to boost your immune system by strengthening muscles, bones and joints. They also promote cardiovascular health, which helps flush out harmful bacteria and pollutants. Physiotherapy exercises also fight inflammation and reduce fatigue.
The benefits of physiotherapy are much more than helping you recover from injury and surgery. Physiotherapy has a holistic effect and can help you recover from injuries faster and strengthen your overall immune response. A licensed physiotherapist can work with you to design an exercise routine that suits your specific needs and abilities.
- Reduce stress
High-stress levels can seriously hamper your immune system. Long-term stress and anxiety can promote inflammation and inhibit your immune cells from working adequately. Manage stress levels with these methods:
- Practice meditation
- Do yoga
- Keep a journal
- Exercise moderately
Talking to a licensed counsellor or therapist can also help you improve your mental health and reduce stress and anxiety.
Physiotherapy and Naturopathic Medicine in Surrey Southpoint and Nordel, South Burnaby and North Vancouver
At Legacies Health Centre, your health is our top priority. Our services include physiotherapy, kinesiology, personal training, dietitian, counselling and naturopathy to ensure you recover from illness faster and achieve optimal health. Our services are conveniently located under one roof, and we have several locations in the Vancouver area with accessible free parking. Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our qualified health practitioners.
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