Winter is coming, and as the weather grows colder and the days darker, our bodies begin to be more at risk of catching illnesses. We have to be more careful about what we wear and how we go out, and very importantly, we have to boost our immune systems, so that our bodies’ natural defenses are toughened and prepared for any assault on them. But as our immune systems are not a single entity, they require balance and harmony to function well. Scientists still don’t fully understand many aspects of them, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to enhance them in ways that have already been shown to be successful.
Our immune systems are highly complex and are influenced by many varying factors. To that end, essential vaccinations can help build up your immunity against specific illnesses as they are designed to combat them from the ground up by attacking the disease-causing organisms and resolving the issue at the root and stem. But your first line of defense is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ways of boosting your immune system include eating well, especially Vitamin C in the colder months, staying fit, getting enough sleep, and trying to minimize stress; these are all extremely helpful in being prepared to combat the invaders looking to infiltrate your body and harm your health and wellbeing.
Eating well means focusing on plenty of fruit and vegetables, protein, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products like cheese or butter. Also, try to limit saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars in your food. Taking care of what you eat will provide multiple nutrients that will support your immune function. However, you should be aware that too much of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful, so be moderate in your consumption, and maybe consult a physician or pharmacist if you are not totally sure about how many vitamins you are ingesting.
You should always be physically active, of course, not only when winter draws near, but having regular physical activity as the days grow darker will make you feel better in general, as doing exercise will trigger a release of dopamine and serotonin, which will improve your mood and general disposition. Exercise can be particularly helpful if you are dealing with anxiety or panic attacks. Add in the immunity boosts, and there isn’t a single reason not to be physically active on a regular basis.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important because extra weight can affect how your body works. Immune system impairment is common in obese people, who are classified as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above as adults. Good ways of helping to maintain a healthy weight include reducing stress, eating healthy as we have covered, getting enough sleep, and having regular physical activity.
Get Enough Sleep
Having enough sleep each night is crucial for not only your immune system but everything, from weight to mental state. Not getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night if you are an adult can lead to a wide variety of disorders. The total number of hours slept is not the only thing that is important to healthy rest, but also having good-quality sleep on a regular schedule. Children require even more sleep than adults. Teenagers should get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, school-age children 9 to 12 hours, preschoolers 10 to 13, and so on.
Humans are made up of about 70% water, so needless to say, water is absolutely vital to our health and well-being. There is a fluid in your circulatory system called lymph, responsible for carrying important infection-fighting immune cells around your body, which is largely made up of, you guessed it, water. Being dehydrated slows down its movement, which can sometimes also lead to an impaired immune system. So, remember to drink lots of water, even when you are not thirsty, as in winter, due to it being cold, we do not feel thirsty most of the time, even though our bodies may already be dehydrated.
It is not as easy as simply purchasing a “proven immunity booster supplement” box from the store because our immune systems are still largely a mystery. Scientists are still wondering what does and does not influence them, but after the tips we shared today, you can at the least ensure that your immune systems are in as good a condition as possible, and be ready to face the coming winter.