There are plenty of steps you can take and changes you can make right now in your life to better support (or even boost) your immune health. An individual’s immune system often does a wonderful job of protecting someone from a variety of diseases and illnesses, but your lifestyle and habits could make it more difficult to fight off germs and infections. Here are some healthy habits you’ll want to get into to help out your immune system and overall well being going forward.
One of the best things you can do for your health and immune system is to quit smoking! It’s definitely a tough habit to break, but it is possible – and you don’t have to wait until January 1st to quit. Even just smoking “every once in a while” can have detrimental effects on your health, including increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Dropping the habit can actually reduce inflammation in your body and help you better fight infections. Lung health actually improves rather rapidly, too (in just a matter of days or weeks), and the risk of lung cancer can drop by nearly 40% in just five years.
How many times throughout the week do you get a good amount of fruits and vegetables in your meals? Or get the nutrients you need?
Our diet has a huge impact on our overall health, and a diet that is lacking in healthy foods or nutrients can negatively affect someone’s immune system. A poor diet can lead to an imbalanced microbiome, impaired immune response, inflammation, and more.
Taking the time to really focus on what you’re eating and making an effort to eat healthier will help ensure your immune system is up to the task of protecting you.
Exercise is known to affect physical and mental health as well as wellbeing – and it can affect your immune system, too. It’s a necessity just like a healthy diet is, yet many people simply don’t get enough exercise.
It’s recommended that you “get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.” This includes walking, swimming, running, dancing, biking, and more. Strength training exercises should also happen around two times a week, which are things like weight machines, weights, rock climbing, or using your own body weight to tone up.
Did you know that people who don’t get enough sleep (or get enough quality sleep) are more likely to get sick? It can also have a major impact on how well you recover from these illnesses. Sleep is necessary to keep disease and illness at bay, and it also helps with stress, obesity, heart health, and more.
For adults, 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night is necessary. And don’t just catch up on the weekend – it doesn’t work that way. It’s important to set a schedule so you get enough sleep each and every night of the week. For teenagers, 9 to 10 hours a night is recommended.
What stresses a person and how they react to that stress or anxiety can vary from individual to individual, but, as with sleep, exercise, and diet, stress can absolutely impact your overall health, including your immune system and its ability to respond to a threat. Too much stress can affect your sleep (it can reduce the quality or cause you to not fall asleep, meaning you don’t get a full 8 hours), cause you to under or overeat, or cause an imbalance of your bacteria in your gut, among other things.
All of these have an effect on your immune health and system. It can be difficult, but taking time to meditate can do wonders for stress levels, as can exercise.
Your overall health and wellbeing will have a direct impact on your immune health and system. Your diet, quality of sleep, habits, and stress levels could affect whether or not you catch a cold or the flu, and how well you can recover afterwards. It’s essential to practice healthy habits to improve your immune system going forward.
Do you need help getting on top of your health goals? We can help. Discover what we can do for you, your health, and your immune system by getting in touch with us today.