Attaining a great immune system and maintaining it takes a lot of effort, discipline and a whole paradigm shift in your perception to health. So if you scored high on the Immune Status Questionnaire. Bravo! You should be proud of yourself and you must keep at it. In this current era of the COVID-19 pandemic, your aim should be to stay in the upper zone with a strong immunity. A sub-optimal status can keep you going for a while fighting off infections, but who knows when these defenses will subsequently weaken and pave way for infections. The immune system is your body’s natural “military” defense system so it is important to always make sure that it is in top shape and functioning at its peak.Boosting your immune system is not a one time thing , It's a lifestyle! Click To Tweet
1. Get enough Zzss
When it comes to your health, sleep has an important role to play. Remember how sluggish and slow you felt the last time you went about on very little sleep? Now imagine how that translates to your immune system. The immune system, just like any of the other systems in the body requires sleep and rest to run properly. Without enough sleep, your body produces fewer cytokines, a type of protein that fights infections and inflammation. These proteins are produced and released while you sleep, which is why getting less than the required hours of sleep greatly affects how your immune system responds to infections. As recommended, get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to make the most out of your sleep.
Let us develop a good sleeping pattern by setting a specific bed time each night and avoid going to bed only when tired. Secondly, try to remove distractions before bed-time and make an effort to eliminate sugary foods late in the night. It is also highly advised to limit screen time before bed and you should desist from using technological devices such as mobile phones while in bed. This is because these devices emit blue light which stimulates brain activity and reduces melatonin production, making it difficult to sleep.
2. Exercise- Get active
Regular exercise as you might know has numerous benefits. Apart from aiding in weight loss and helping maintain a healthy lifestyle, physical activity in the form of exercise may help flush bacteria and viruses out of the lungs. This prevents respiratory illness such as Covid. In effect, exercise aids in boosting your immune system. Exercise also increases blood and lymph flow in your whole body as your muscles contract. Subsequently, this leads to an increase in the circulation of immune cells.
Most often, starting an exercise regimen can be a daunting task but you can start slow. It can be a simple as 10 knee raises or wall squats to begin with. Make an effort to exercise 3-5 times a week and incorporate simple forms of exercise like walking, jogging or aerobics into your daily routines. Remember, exercising is not the same as engaging in physical activity such as household chores. Great exercise will increase your heart rate and make you sweat. This form of physical activity is what helps boost your immunity. If you haven’t already, it is never too late to start exercising now.
3. Get Adjusted
As health care evolves, so are the many natural options that one can use to stay optimally functional, strong and healthy. Chiropractic care is well known for managing spine conditions particularly that of the nerves, spinal bones and its surrounding tissues. Interestingly, growing emphasis is being placed on its effect on the autonomic nervous system when one gets adjusted. This happens when there is a specific adjustment delivered by a trained chiropractor in the thoracic region. This causes a release of small doses of epinephrine (adrenaline) and nor-epinephrine hormones . Now these 2 hormones, when in high quantities, such as when stressed out, actually weakens the immune system. However, a small burst of epinephrine increases the killing ability of natural killer cells and reduce the inflammatory effects of cortisol, consequentially improving your immune system. How awesome!
So the next time you think of chiropractic care as something you don’t need, remember how that decision could affect your immune health.
4. Drink Water- Stay hydrated
Water helps flush out toxins from your body tissues. Build up of these toxins in the cells negatively affects your immune system by causing a lot of inflammation. Water also carries much needed oxygen to cells in your body helping it to function properly. This is why you should keep up with taking in at least 8 glasses or 2 liters of water every day. It is further recommended that you take water in sips. This method is important because it allows the water to move into every tissue and improves hydration.
5. Be Gut fit
About 80% of your immune system is found in your digestive system. It is rich with live microorganisms that help with digestion and regulate the mucosal immune system. . In fact they do this beautifully by protecting the lining of the gut from invading organisms. So it is important you keep gut healthy by eating the right foods. Foods that are high in fiber, antioxidants (fruits and vegetables) and protein provides it with exactly what it needs to function properly. Eating foods rich with probiotic enzymes like as found in plain yoghurt, also aid your digestive system to function properly.
You have probably heard the saying, “An apple a day. Keeps the doctor away” and this is a fact. Try substituting your intake of simple carbohydrates such as sweets, baked goods etc. with natural fruits like apples bananas. Incorporate more foods that especially contain vitamins C, A, E and B-6 and minerals like iron and zinc in your diet to help boost your immunity.
Make a conscious effort to eat a balanced diet. The bonus to developing this lifestyle is a healthy weight that keeps you far away from obesity and all the cardiovascular diseases that come with it.
6. Practice mindfulness
Keeping your stress levels to the minimum plays an integral role in maintaining a strong immune system. A high stress level increases the stress hormone cortisol which in effect reduces the number of immune cells circulating in your blood. This suppresses the effectiveness of your immune system. Practice praying and meditating daily, listen to your favorite songs or life enriching audio books whilst in traffic. Likewise dance around the house while doing house chores or go for walks with a loved one.
Another effective way to reduce stress is to pay attention to your RPMS. Ha! This isn’t with reference to how fast you go , but how well you live.
- R- Build strong positive relationships
- P- Work hard . keep your physical body in tune
- M- Keep calm. Do not overload you mental capacities. One thing at a time. Make an effort to offload your mind each day through mindfulness
- S- Your Spirituality. Do not ignore you inner man connecting with an outer being . It will help you stay well grounded and stress free.
7. Wash your hands often
One fireproof way to keep your immune system in top shape is to minimize the amount of infection it has to deal with. Most bacteria come into contact with our bodies through our hands touching on surfaces. You can control infections by frequently washing your hands to rid them of bacteria and viruses. Make an effort to get in to the habit of practicing proper hand washing. Secondly, it is imperative you carry hand sanitizers on yourself as you may not always have access to running water and soap.
Take a step towards great health and wellness today with the above tips. There are so much to do and many wonderful places to explore. Let’s work hard on boosting our immune systems. Lets aim to live long.