Did you know that your immune system is the single most important factor in deciding whether or not you get a cold? In fact, it’s the same for any illness. Your body’s natural defenses are equipped to deal with all sorts of things, but they can only do so much on their own. If you want to prevent getting sick, or speed up recovery if you do fall ill, there are lots of ways you can help your immune system at any age. That way, when the next flu pandemic is upon us and everyone you know is coming down with something nasty, you’ll still be fighting fit! There are certain lifestyle choices that have a significant impact on your immune system and how well it functions. Here are some ways to improve immunity at any age:
Get Enough Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep will not only make you feel better, it will also help your immune system. Studies have shown that when you don’t get enough sleep, certain parts of your immune system can become overactive, leading to more allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases. But it’s not just a lack of sleep that can put your immune system off its game. Sleeping in a bedroom that is too warm or too cold, or where there is too much light (from street lamps, alarm clocks, mobile phone screens, etc.), can disrupt your melatonin levels and make it harder for you to fall asleep. You should also try to avoid sleeping with your phone next to your bed, as the blue light from these devices can disturb your natural sleep cycle, keeping you awake when you should be sleeping.
Another really important part of staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong is getting enough water. It keeps you hydrated, prevents you from getting constipated, and helps flush toxins out of your body. But water isn’t just refreshing and cleansing. It is also crucial to your immune system. Your lymph nodes, which are responsible for fighting off infections, clean your blood and filter poisons from your body, are about 80% water. The rest is made up of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. There are two important things you can do to ensure your lymph nodes stay well-hydrated: - Drink lots of water- at least eight glasses a day. - Take a daily probiotic, which will help keep your gut healthy and improve your digestive system.
The right diet can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Start by reducing your intake of refined sugar, which can raise your blood sugar levels, making it harder for your immune system to fight off infections. You should also try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, which contain antioxidants that help protect your body from harmful free radicals. If you are under the age of 65, you should aim to get 400 mg of calcium (about 1 serving of dairy) per day. This can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis. After the age of 65, you should aim for 1000 mg per day. This is because as you age, your bones are more susceptible to breaking as they become less dense.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost your immune system and keep it strong. It improves blood circulation and helps your lymph nodes remove toxins, bacteria and viruses from your body. With more oxygen and other nutrients circulating around your body, your immune system has the fuel it needs to fight off germs. Most importantly, regular exercise can help keep your stress levels low. Stress can weaken your immune system, and is one of the leading causes of illness, so it’s important to find ways to reduce it.
Don’t Smoke Or Breathe In Secondhand Smoke
As you get older, you may notice that your immune system isn’t as strong as it used to be. This is due, in part, to the fact that as you get older, your body produces fewer white blood cells, meaning your immune system is less able to fight off infections. To help keep your immune system strong, it’s important to avoid smoking or being around secondhand smoke, because it can expose you to harmful toxins and carcinogens that can disrupt your immune system. It can also make you more prone to infections, including common colds and the flu. If you do get sick while smoking, it will take you longer to recover.
Learn To Recognize The Early Signs Of Illness
Knowing the early signs of an illness, like a cold or the flu, can help you get treated sooner, meaning you get better more quickly. Unfortunately, most people only recognize the symptoms of illness when it has already progressed too far, which means they end up having to take time off work or school to recover. You may be able to catch a cold or the flu before it progresses too far by keeping an eye out for symptoms like a runny nose, a sore throat, fatigue, headaches, or aching muscles. If you do notice any of these symptoms, try to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and use essential oils to help support your immune system.
Your immune system is something you should always be mindful of. It can get stressed out, or get sick if you are not taking care of it the right way. The best way to keep it healthy is to exercise, drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, eat a nutritious diet, and try to keep your stress levels down. You can also help boost it by planting some herbs in your garden that naturally support your immune system.