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It’s never been more important to keep ourselves fit and healthy - a big part of this is making sure that our immune system can fight off anything that’s thrown at it. Here are five habits to keep your immune system strong.
Keep it moving
Movement is a crucial part of maintaining good general health, including the strengthening of your immune system. When you get your blood pumping, you deliver more white cells to the different parts of your body, which can help to detect harmful bacteria and fight infection. Regular exercise (150 minutes a week) also helps your body to fight against inflammation. This is crucial because when you’re inflamed, the immune system is less effective at dealing with infection.
Get your sleep
Whenever you miss out on a decent amount of sleep, you wake up the next morning feeling like trash. This is because sleep is absolutely essential to your health, and your immune system. Just like your mind, your immune system needs rest. When you’re ill, you’re so tired because your immune system needs the extra sleep to fight off infection. Aim for at least 7 hours a night, but boosting that up to 9 hours can really help when you’re feeling under the weather.
Stress and your immune system are intrinsically linked. Anyone that suffers from cold sores, ulcers and acne breakouts will know this all too well. Stress suppresses your immune system, so practising mindfulness and actively de-stressing (i.e. whether it’s through walking, running, meditation or reading) helps to keep your immune system strong.
Give it a helping hand
Vitamins and probiotic foods are a great way to give your immune system that little bit of extra help, especially during flu season or when you’re not well. A combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and a probiotic food (such as yoghurt) is the perfect way to keep your immune response heightened. Your immune response is the defensive action that your immune system makes when it feels like it is under attack from bad bacteria.
Mindset is everything. As well as keeping your stress levels low, research shows that being actively positive when possible is a great way of staying healthy. When you’re positive, you release endorphins and dopamine - the release of these chemicals can help your immune system to fight infection. Smile!
At times like this, it has never been more important to get into habits which can help to strengthen your immune system. Make sure to follow our tips above and we’re sure you’ll keep yourself fighting fit.