A complicated coordination of cells, tissues, and organs that is arguably the most complex system in the human body, your immune system works day in and day out to fend off viruses, bacteria, germs, and other invaders that could compromise your well-being. It continually tackles an important task that can have a major impact on your quality of life. Understanding how to boost your immune system allows you to give this crucial system a helping hand.
How to Boost Your Immune System
Although your immune system generally goes about its duties without much input from you, it doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The choices that you make can either sabotage or support it. If you’re wondering how to boost your immune system, trying taking the following steps:
Keep It Clean
If you want to give your immune system a hand, make it a point to wash your hands. Habitually washing your hands with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer can eliminate many of the germs that you encounter during your day before they get a chance to make you sick. Fewer germs attacking your body means less work for your immune system, so it is better able to come to your body’s defense when needed.
Opt for Nutritious Foods
Historians often note that an army marches on its stomach. With the proper fuel and resources, soldiers are better able to mount an effective defense. The same is true of your immune system. Diets that are heavy in sugar, empty calories, chemical additives, and processed foods can stress the immune system by denying it the nutrients that it needs to do its job. On the other hand, filling your plate with lots of nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits, veggies, and lean meats provides your immune system with the resources it requires to operate successfully and keep you healthier.
In today’s fast-paced world, stress is inevitable. Unfortunately, stress floods the body with hormones that are designed to help people survive the moment but are bad for their bodies in the long run. In fact, stress hormones can actually suppress the immune system. While it’s nearly impossible to dodge all stressors, you can take steps to manage your stress level. Meditating, exercising, enjoying a visit with loved ones, and taking time to indulge in hobbies and activities that bring you pleasure are all great strategies for managing stress.
Exercise Your Funny Bone
You may have heard laughter compared to medicine. It’s no joke! Studies indicate that laughter not only reduces the number of stress hormones circulating through your body but also increases the number of certain infection-fighting white blood cells. Sharing a laugh is more than good fun. It’s also a good way to relax, de-stress, practice positivity, and nourish your relationships with your friends and family.
Of course, your funny bone isn’t the only body part that you should exercise. As adults age, they tend to lose muscle and bone mass. Regular exercise can counteract these losses and preserve strength and bone health. It also helps with stress management. Naturally, working out doesn’t have to mean going to the gym to lift heavy things. Taking a walk, heading out on a hike, working in the garden, cleaning your house, dancing, going for a bike ride, plunging in for a swim, or participating in virtually any active that requires you to move helps you remain active and provides a welcome boost for your immune system.
Get Your Rest
Almost every list of tips for how to boost your immune system encourages you to stay active. While being involved and on the go is important, so is balance. Lack of sleep can increase the amount of inflammation and the number of stress hormones in your body and leave you more vulnerable to infection and illness. Since sleep deprivation can also reduce alertness, slow reaction times, and impair cognition, it can increase your risk of injury as well. To protect your health, make sure your schedule includes sufficient sleep time.
While being alone now and then can certainly be refreshing, being lonely can leave you more vulnerable to illness. Studies show that people with meaningful connections to those around them tend to have a stronger, more robust immune response than individuals who report feeling isolated. Staying involved in your community and making time to nourish your relationships does more than help you feel happy and fulfilled. It also seems to have a protective effect that supports your immune system.
At Springhouse Village, we’re committed to providing a friendly, healthy atmosphere where our residents can thrive. Whether it’s encouraging our residents to enjoy the benefits of shopping at local farmers markets, providing places where they can practice and share their hobbies, or creating continuing education opportunities by connecting with local schools, we are continually striving to help our residents prosper. To learn about the many things we do to support the health and well-being of our residents, contact Springhouse Village today.