Everybody wants to keep their immune system in tip-top shape.
Being sick can throw off our whole routine: you have to call your employer and use a sick day, you have to miss appointments, and figure out who is going to take care of the kids? How is dinner going to be made?
It’s just not fun.
Business owners can be especially vulnerable to sick days because there is no sick pay and when you're out of the office the work will simply pile up.
Especially now that we are living in the time of a global pandemic, you may be looking for any and all ways to keep your immune system healthy.
The most simple way to boost your immunity and stay healthy is by living a healthy lifestyle.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat a balanced diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
- Stay away from excess alcohol
- Develop healthy sleep habits
Diet and Your Immune System
Diet is a key part of keeping your immune system in great shape. In order to have a strong immune system, you need good nourishment.
If you don’t like vegetables or don’t have access to fresh fruit and veggies, there are still ways to get the immune boosting powers of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
For example, you can take a daily multivitamin or a mineral supplement like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Elderberry, Echinacea or Garlic.
In studies, all of those supplements have been shown to reduce the duration or incidence of common illnesses like the cold or upper respiratory infections.
Stress and Your Immune System
You may have heard someone say that stress is causing them to be sick. While it may sound like an old wive’s tale, research has actually linked several ailments to stress.
Those include upset stomach, hives and even heart disease. So in order to keep your immunity high, learn stress management techniques and try to reduce stress.
We know that may be a tall order for some people, but there are things you can do to combat and avoid stress. Take a few minutes to walk outside, take deep breaths or meditate throughout the day.
Put on some soothing music and unwind with a bath at the end of the day. Exercise your aggression out or talk to a trusted confidante.
Exercise and Your Immune System
Regular exercise is an important part of healthy living, but does it boost immunity? We do know that exercise contributes to your overall well-being, which keeps you healthy.
As far as scientific evidence that exercise boosts immunity, it mostly contributes by promoting good circulation. Good circulation allows cells and other substances in the immune system to move freely throughout your body and do their job efficiently.
Sleep and Your Immune System
Research shows that sleep and a healthy immune system work hand-in-hand together. According to researchers, poor sleep quality is linked to higher susceptibility to illness.
So, getting enough rest can strengthen your body’s natural immunity. Healthy adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Teens need 8-10 hour per night and younger children and infants should get up to 14 hours.
Eat for Immunity
We already discussed that a healthy diet is a key factor in one’s overall health. But, there are certain foods that have been shown to be immunity boosters.
These foods can help prevent cold, the flu and other infections. The bottomline is pack your plate with colorful foods.
- Citrus Fruits: We’ve heard time and time again that vitamin C is great for fighting the common cold. Vitamin C is believed to help increase the production of white blood cells, which are vital to fight infections.
- Red Bell Peppers: Red bell peppers actually have almost three times as much vitamin c as citrus fruits!
- Broccoli: This vegetable is supercharged with minerals and vitamins A, C and E.
- Ginger: Ginger may help decrease inflammation and can also help with nausea.
- Spinach: Popeye’s favorite superfood is packed with vitamin C in addition to different antioxidants and beta carotene— both can be helpful in fighting infections.
Keeping Immunity When You Have Higher-Risk
As we get older, our immune system potentially weakens. This makes us more susceptible to infection and disease. Elderly people are more at-risk for contracting illnesses including the flu and COVID-19.
Some people that are not elderly are also at higher risk of contracting an illness or infection when they are immunocompromised.
Conditions that cause this include diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, hepatitis, kidney disease and obesity as well as people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
If you are higher-risk and you are concerned about keeping healthy during COVID-19, the CDC recommends the following measures:
- Obtain several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for long periods of time. This also limits your exposure as you are venturing out into the public less frequently.
- Utilize home-delivery services like Instacart, Amazon, pharmacy delivery services, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc.
- When you receive a delivery or arrive home, remove all products from bags and packaging. Put food on a plate. Discard all packaging and then wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect highly touched areas and surfaces of your home frequently
- Take advantage of drive-thru and curbside services. Keep hand sanitizer in your car or baby wipes. Wipe down items like a coffee cup and then your hands before drinking.
- Practice social distancing, hand washing and wear a face covering when in public
- Avoid large crowds
- Avoid travel, especially international or to known hotspots
- If you are living in an area with a COVID-19 outbreak, stay home as much as possible
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth
- Stay away from sick people
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about keeping your immune system healthy or you are interested in finding out more about direct primary care in Albuquerque, New Mexico please contact us at Well Life ABQ.
Direct primary care is a refreshing approach to healthcare. Individuals and employers can take advantage of the comprehensive healthcare approach and the cost-saving benefits. Get in touch with us today to find out more!