Nobody likes to get sick. It’s plain annoying and comes with so many inconveniences. The idea of having a super-efficient immune system and fewer sick days is very enticing. And the best part, it is no rocket science to do so. Here are some super easy, effective ways to boost your immune system.
Eat Healthy: Like all other bodily functions, the immune system also dwells on a healthy, nutritious, well-balanced diet. Variety is the key to eating right. Try and include all kinds of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your diet. Opt for foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Cut back on junk foods and refined sugars. Avoid excessive salt consumption and deep-fried foods. And follow these basic guidelines- not just for a day, a week, or a couple of months, but make them a part of your lifestyle. And while we’re at it, let me tell you, you should have your share of cheat days. Have some pizza occasionally; have a cup of hot chocolate if you really feel like it. If you get too strict or make an overambitious plan, chances are, it will fire back.
Get adequate sleep: Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep for healthy living. Sleep allows our body to undergo critical recovery and repair. Stick to regular bedtime and wake-up time. People who sleep well have fewer flu episodes and a faster recovery in times of illness. (For the full article on ‘How to deal with insomnia,’ click here.)
Exercise regularly: Moderate, consistent exercise regime positively impacts the immune system; and has shown significant improvement in long-term disease-fighting ability. Regular exercise improves heart health, regulates blood pressure, keeps your hormonal levels in check, and detoxifies the body. One key thing to remember here is that exercise should accompany proper hydration and good dietary habits.
De-stress: Your body does a better job of protecting itself from germs when it is under minimal stress. The reason for using the word minimal being, the definition of stress varies from person to person. A situation that is stressful for one person might be a piece of cake for the other person. Nevertheless, all of us can incorporate relaxing practices like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga into our daily routines.
Along with this, identifying and addressing the cause of chronic stress and working on it is of utmost importance.
Quit Smoking: The list of smoking-related health hazards is long and is mostly known to everyone. And a weak immune system is just one of the many. So quit smoking for good, right away!!
When it comes to quitting, it is different for everyone. Some smokers have an easier time letting go of their beloved cigarettes than others. I encourage my clients to gradually reduce their frequency and eventually replace smoking with another habit, for example, chewing gum, having tea, etc. Nicotine replacement might be a mandate for some people who otherwise find it very difficult to give up this habit.
Stay hydrated: Did I not mention this?? Drinking enough water is one of the easiest ways to up your game against germs and toxins. The reason behind this lies in simple biology. Water helps transport the nutrients and oxygen to all the body parts and carries the toxins from the body to the kidneys for elimination.
And guess what is better than just water? ‘Lukewarm water. Starting your day with a glass of warm water is one of the easiest ways to add it to your routine. If the taste of warm water doesn’t go well with your taste buds, you can add a twist of honey and citrus to it!
Enjoy a good sex life: The perks of sex extend well beyond the bedroom. “Sexually active people take fewer sick leaves,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, a sexual expert. Better immunity, lower stress levels, improved sleep, and better heart health are some of the added benefits of having a good time with your partner. And guess what, it burns calories too!