The arrival of cold & flu season has only added to the ongoing concerns over COVID-19. At this point, we all understand that washing our hands, disinfecting commonly handled surfaces like door knobs often, and not touching our faces are very effective in limiting exposure to viruses. And while these are clearly proven and effective means for preventing infection, they are really just first-line defense tactics. What if those nasty bugs actually land on you, or worse yet, manage to breach those perimeter counter measures? Learn the simple ways that you can get your immune system ready to wage war on those would-be microbe invaders!
Things to Strengthen Your Immune System and Haul Away Disease:
1. Eat properly: Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables help to replenish the body’s stores of such necessary nutrients as zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E. If you want to keep your immune system ready for combat, keep it supplied with what it needs. Junk that fast food diet heavy in refined sugar!
2. Engage in physical activity: The benefits of regular exercise have long been accepted as vital to good heath. It has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, help control body weight, regulate blood glucose, and protect against a variety of diseases. Additionally, regular physical activity is good for relieving stress. More on that later.
3. Get sleep: One of the fastest ways to demo your own immune response is to not get enough sleep! Studies have shown that if you don’t get enough quality sleep, you are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. This includes the common cold and flu. Lack of proper sleep will also affect your recovery once you do get sick. How much sleep a night should you get? It depends. For adults, 7-8 hours, teenagers 9-10 hours, and school-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.
4. Reduce stress: Researchers have found that long-term or chronic stress can ravage the immune system, causing it to produce fewer natural killer cells, which fight tumors and viral infections. Although eliminating all stress is impossible, it is clearly beneficial to reduce as much stress from your everyday routine as is reasonably possible. We have already discussed two good tools for reducing stress: regular exercise and quality sleep. Exercise releases norepinephrine, a hormone that forces your central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system to work together, which helps you manage and respond to stress more efficiently. Without proper sleep, you’re less patient and more easily agitated, which can increase stress. Additional stress busters are spending time with with family and friends, delegating responsibilities, reduce your caffeine intake, effective time management, outdoor activities, or simply enjoying some alone time.
Staying healthy and maintaining a strong immune system may take some effort, but is far worth it. Let the EarthWise Team reduce your stress and keep you and your budget healthy with any demo or hauling job you have!