Our immune system is incredibly important for our overall health and does a lot to keep us well and able. For instance it is our immune system which helps our bodies to fight off infection and disease, and it is our immune system which helps our bodies to fight things like cancer or other conditions. At the same time though our immune system also takes up energy and having a healthy immunity will help us to stay constantly energetic and alert, whereas those with poor immunity find themselves constantly run down and tired.
The immune system also helps us to heal wounds and maintains the body meaning that it is necessary for keeping our skin looking good and looking after our health even when we’re not ill. A good immune system then can help to prevent cancer and all kinds of conditions, fight off bacteria, keep us feeling energetic and awake, and help us to heal wounds and maintain our body tissue. Someone with a bad immune system meanwhile will find themselves constantly lethargic with damaged skin and all manner of other problems.
Fortunately there are several methods you can use to ensure that your immunity is as high as possible and thereby improve your body’s natural defences. By following these few tips, you stand to improve your health in countless ways and prevent all kinds of problems before they arise.
Get Lots of Sleep: As mentioned, our immune system uses up a lot of energy and at the same time it works best during the night when we are in an ‘anabolic phase’ meaning that our body is going about repairing tissue, fighting germs and generally fixing the damage caused to it during the night. As such it is absolutely crucial to get lots of sleep to keep your immune system running as well as possible. Those who do not get their minimum of eight hours sleep per night are likely to find themselves constantly getting colds and feeling run down and lethargic throughout the day.
Floss: It is important to floss our teeth regularly in order to prevent bacteria from building up in our mouths. Oral hygiene is highly important as bacteria is drawn to our mouths which present a warm and moist habitat. At the same time, our mouths of course provide a direct route into our stomachs and blood stream via our trachea. As such it has been found that lack of flossing is actually correlated with higher incidence of cancer, stroke and heart attacks.
Avoid Those With Illnesses: The more you attack your immune system, the less it will be able to fight off other infections. As such then, if you are around lots of people with illnesses, you will exhaust your immune system and leave it open to attack. Of course you can’t boycott anyone who’s unwell, but be sure to be extra careful and to let them know if you’d rather not risk contact.
Avoid Injuries: Of course it’s important to avoid injuries anyway, but one extra reason to do so is that injuring yourself can lead to illness. This occurs as your immune system becomes busy with repairing your cuts and bruises which then leaves it open to attack from bacteria.
Use Probiotics: Probiotics are made from the ‘friendly’ bacteria in our system which have all kinds of important jobs in our body – including exterminating the ‘unfriendly’ bacteria.
Keep Warm: When you head outside in the cold with no coat, it is well known that you are putting yourself at risk of catching a cold. This is not because the bacteria is outside (in fact bacteria survives far better in the warm), but because the cold weather can lower you immunity leaving you more susceptible to illness. Keep your heating up throughout the winter then and be sure to wrap up warm if you do go out.
Take Cold Showers: On the other hand though, brief blasts of cold have been shown to help us to improve our immune system. This works because it places stress on the immune system training it in much the same way you train your muscles with weights. Taking a cold shower is a great way to do this that has been shown to work.
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables: It is very important to eat fruits and vegetables in order to get the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals which can help to strengthen the immune system.
Exercise: Exercising can help to improve all kinds of bodily functions and has been shown to boost immunity. However for athletes and bodybuilders remember it is also important to get sufficient to get the right amount of rest in between or your immune system will be constantly busy repairing damaged muscle fibres.
Clean: As mentioned – your body having to constantly fend off attack from bacteria can leave your immune system spent. One way to prevent this from being the case is to clean it from all the surfaces in your home. Key areas are taps, door handles and side boards in the kitchen. Use a disinfectant spray. Likewise you should wash your hands regularly and use an antibacterial spray.
Get Your Immunizations: You may as well help your body out by getting shots for the viruses you know are going around. Getting a regular ‘flu jab’ for instance can work wonders to prevent you from getting the flu which can really bring down your immune system.
Drink Lots of Water: Drinking lots of water is very important for a good immune system and can help the body to flush itself out and to regulate temperature. It’s also good for lots of other things such as weight loss and is generally a good idea.
Eat Carbs, Fibre and Protein: As well as eating your greens it’s also important to eat your carbs, fibre and protein. Protein is crucial for helping the immune system to repair damage using amino acids, carbs provide you with the energy to fight illness and stay alert, and fibre is used for flushing your system in much the way that water is. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet then is paramount for your immune system.
Stay Happy: It may be easier said than done, but it’s important to remain happy. Stress is a psychological condition that places strain on the body and immune system and leaves us ‘low’ and susceptible to illness. At the same time laughter has been shown to boost the immune system. Laughter really is the best medicine…
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