Your immune system is your body’s unsung hero.
It protects you from infection and disease. While there’s no magic pill or potion you can take for a healthy immune system, there are helpful steps you can take to ensure it’s functioning at its best.
1. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Make sure your diet is packed full of fruit and veg, meeting all your nutritional needs. Whether you eat meat or opt for a plant-based diet, make sure you’re getting enough micro and macro nutrients to keep your body a well-oiled machine.
2. Take Supplements
Keep an eye out for any nutritional deficiencies in your diet, such as vitamin D or iron. You can do this by getting semi-regular blood tests at your GP. Nutritional supplements can be a great option to up your body’s levels of key nutrients. Just make sure to get the tick of approval from a medical professional beforehand.
3. Brush and Floss
Your TeethYour mouth is a gateway of sorts to your respiratory and digestive tracts. Good daily oral care, such as brushing and flossing your teeth can help keep bad bacteria under control (which means less work for your immune system!).
4. Drink in Moderation
Alcohol is a drug that your body has to work hard to metabolise, which can take away from other processes. Too much alcohol can upset your microbiome balance in the gut and negatively impact your immune system, making you more prone to infection and viruses.
5. Minimise Stress
When you’re stressed, your immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is impaired, which can make you more susceptive to infections. Plus, the stress hormone can lower the number of lymphocytes, which can impair your immune system’s effectiveness.
6. Practice Good Hygiene
Now more than ever, the world knows the importance of good hygiene, such as washing your hands properly to prevent the spread of germs that cause diseases. The reason for this is that people frequently touch their mouth, eyes and nose without realising it.
Without handwashing, germs can make their way into the body and make us sick. Play it safe and always wash your hands thoroughly when you’re out and about.
7. Get Enough Sleep
To stay your healthiest, it’s important to get enough sleep. Skimping on sleep can affect your immune system, which could leave you more vulnerable to a cold or the flu.
Check out the Sleep Foundation’s daily recommended sleep:
- Teenagers (14-17) - 8-10 hours
- Adults (18-64) - 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+) - 7-8 hours.
Are you getting enough? If you answered ‘yes’, hooray! If not, you may need to change up your nighttime routine to get some extra shut-eye.
8. Visit Your Healthcare Professional Regularly
Whether it’s a specialist healthcare professional or your local GP, it’s important to keep up-to-date with your medical appointments. They’ll be sure to make any recommendations to keep you at your healthiest.
9. Skip the Smokes
It should come as no surprise that smoking is harmful for your health. According to Better Health, some of the effects of smoking on the immune system include:
- More severe and long-lasting illnesses
- Great vulnerability to infections (e.g. pneumonia)
- Low levels of protective antioxidents in the blood.
To give your immune system the best chance of optimal function, ditch the darts.
10. Stay Active
Regular exercise is a key part of healthy living, which along with a healthy diet can lead to a healthy immune system. Exercise is also great for circulation, which helps move cells and substances around the immune system.
Interested to learn more about what you can be doing to take care of your immune system?
We can help connect you with a personal trainer to discuss your nutritional and fitness goals, online or in person. Talk to us today!