Healthy people do get sick. But, the difference between them and most of the population is that they don’t get such severe symptoms and they recover quicker. So, if you want to join these healthy individuals, you need to do five things.
- Eat the right food
- Move your body
- Adopt clean habits
- Sleep Better
- Stress less
All these actions will strengthen your immune system, and with a robust immune system, your body will fight bacteria, toxic chemicals and viruses that cause conditions like the flu and the common cold far more effectively. If any virus, like the COVID 19, attacks your body and finds it weak, then you’re more likely to have a real fight on your hands.
EAT THE RIGHT FOOD
If you have a diet that is rich in antioxidants, you have immediately boosted your immune systems. You’ll find these magic bullets in abundance in fruit and vegetables. Try for a rainbow approach to your fruit and vegetables, rather than eat the same ones over and over. Healthy fats also are very protective, such as those found in avocados, flax seeds, nuts and oily fish. Unhealthy fats are found in meat and dairy products and should be eaten only occasionally. Drinking plenty of water helps cells operate efficiently and allows your body to process food and eliminate waste. Heavyweights in immune-boosting foods, herbs and spices are garlic, ginger, onions turmeric, tarragon, allspice, rosemary, dark chocolate, blueberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, beetroot (not in vinegar) spinach, all citrus fruits and strawberries. Here is some more practical advice.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Being active undoubtedly boosts the immune system. Exercise literally mobilises immune system cells, thus helping the body defend itself against pathogens and even cancer cell growth. Those who regularly engage in exercise have fewer illnesses and less systemic inflammation. Being more active also protect the immune system from the effects of ageing – now that’s a bonus. Other theories put forward about how exercise boosts your immune system include:
- Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, therefore reducing your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
- Exercise causes a change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they detect illnesses earlier.
- The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better.
To find all the activities near you, click here.
ADOPT CLEAN HABITS
Recent studies demonstrated that we touch our faces on average 23 times an hour. All it takes is one microbe on your finger from the many surfaces we touch all day — doorknobs, elevators, keyboards — to slip into your body through your nostril, eyes or mouth, and we have an illness. So, wash your hands, frequently and then they are down the drain and not in your body. It’s the most useful preventative against the very worst virus infections out there, including the Corona virus (COVID 19) as the COVID 19 virus can live on a surface touched by an infected person for 9 days.
But COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are primarily spread through close contact – defined as 6 feet or less – with an infected person, specifically via droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. So, stay away from couching sneezing people and practice hygienic methods of coughing and sneezing into a tissue and throwing it away.
Another healthy habit vital to preventing sickness is getting a full eight hours of sleep each night, which in itself boosts your immunity. A study of over 22,000 people found that those who slept less than six hours per night or who had a sleep disorder were more likely to have colds and other respiratory infections. If you don’t sleep well, try and few techniques to help you drop off and stay asleep.
- Avoid using your screen an hour before bed. Blue light over-stimulates the brain.
- Exercise in the evening. Don’t go from the TV chair to bed, but finish the activity half an hour before you retire. Download the Geronigo App so you have every activity on your phone.
- Create a restful environment in your bedroom. No TV. Tidy room. Clean sheets. Maybe use a little lavender oil on your pillow
- Have a shower or bath. The hot water stimulates, but also calms you.
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on immunity, according to a landmark study with a total of 18,941 participants. The review suggests that while short-term exposure to stress can rev up your immune defense, like when you are exercising, prolonged stress may wear down the immune system and increase your vulnerability to illness. If you can incorporate a relaxing practice like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing into your weekly routine, the benefits will be immense. But the best route would be to remove the stress-causing things in your life, or at least minimise them.