How To Boost Your Immune System

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How To Boost Your Immune System

With everything that’s going on at the minute with COVID-19, it’s important that we are taking care of ourselves and our immune system.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 6 ways you can boost your immune system so you can operate in a healthy state and reduce the risk of getting sick.

Disclaimer

I am not a medical doctor or infectious disease expert, you should check out the World Health Organisation’s website for specific recommendations on COVID-19.

If there is any conflicting information from what I say and the things you see on their website, you should of course prioritise them as the authority on this subject.

Why is our immune system important?

Our immune system is what protects us from bacteria and fights off colds, flu and viruses such as COVID-19.

When we don’t look after ourselves, we are much more susceptible to infections and diseases.

Below, are 6 ways you can boost your immune system.

1. Sleep

Sleep is one of the best strategies you can use to boost your immune system. 

Around 60% of us get 7-9 hours sleep, which is the recommended  amount for healthy functioning and then around 30-40% of us get less than 7 hours sleep and these are the people that are at the highest risk of sleep deprivation which can impact our immune system.

When we go to bed late, we miss out on SWS (slow wave sleep) which boosts our growth hormone and this is integral for immunity to diseases and viruses.

Tips to get a better sleep:

  • Consistent sleep routine: go to bed at 10pm, wake at 6am
  • Limit caffeine to before 2pm
  • Have a hot shower before bed 

2. Stress

Being in a perpetually heightened state of stress can make us more susceptible to illness, heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.

Especially with the uncertainty at the minute, it’s important that we are not in a stressed state and that we are relaxed so we can make decisions with clarity and precision.

Tips to reduce stress

  • Sleep will help relieve stress
  • Regular breaks when working intensely
  • CBD oil can also aid in sleep, recovery and reduce anxiety

3. Lowering Alcohol Consumption

A higher alcohol consumption can also have a negative effect on our immune system.

When we drink excessive amounts of alcohol, it interferes with the chemical signals from white blood cells and this can leave us at a great risk of bacterial and viral infection.

A single episode of binge drinking can result in an immune system failure against exposure to illness within the first 24-hours of initial consumption.

Tips to reduce alcohol consumption:

  • Have periods of sobriety – times when you don’t drink
  • Plan something in early the next day so you don’t stay up late drinking
  • Have hobbies that are active

4. Exercise

Exercise is another great way to boost our immune system.

Physical activity can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and the airways. This can reduce the chance of getting a cold, flu or virus.

Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC) and WBC are the body’s immune system cells to fight off disease.

Tips:

  • Aim to do resistance workouts 3-5x week
  • HIIT/cardio a couple of times a week
  • Wipe down equipment and wash your hands before and after if going to the gym

5. Nutrition

Our diet also plays a big role in supporting our immune system.

Poor nutrition, such as a lack of vitamins, minerals, calories and protein can weaken our immune system and make us less likely to destroy germs.

There is lots of talk in the industry at the minute that certain diets such as keto, vegan and carnivore diets can fight off COVID-19. This is completely untrue.

The only nutritional advice you should be following is what you’ve always been told.

Tips for nutrition:

  • Eat whole foods
  • Minimise the processed stuff you eat
  • Consume a mix of fruit and veg

6. Vitamins

Along with nutrition, taking certain vitamin supplements can be helpful when looking to build a strong immune system.

Zinc – A lack of zinc can make a person more susceptible to disease and illness. Zinc helps maintain the body’s ability to make new cells and enzymes, process carbohydrate, fat and protein in food and also increases the speed of healing muscles and wounds.

Vitamin C – This can help reduce the duration of a cold and protect cells and keep them healthy. Foods such as oranges are high in vitamin C if you don’t want to get it from supplements.

Vitamin E – Vitamin E deficiencies may result in the decrease of T-cells, which can then result in the decrease of cellular immunity. 

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