4 Simple Natural Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System
Are you concerned about the current virus pandemic?
Are you looking for advice on how to protect yourself?
If so, you are in the right place.
It is important to remember that we always expose ourselves to viruses.
Viruses like bacteria can play a positive role in our health and well-being.
Sometimes, however, viruses can get out of control and overwhelm our bodies.
The one thing that keeps viruses under control is our immune system.
A healthy and robust immune system can identify and destroy viruses.
So, how can you strengthen your immune system?
Today, I will explain four ways you can help strengthen your immune system.
These ways are all-natural and easy to do yourself.
Let’s jump and look at how exercise can help boost immunity.
We all know that all types of exercise are good for our health. The key to exercising and helping our immune system is intensity.
Studies have shown that moderate to high-intensity exercise can help to improve immune function.
What are moderate and high-intensity exercises?
If you use a Fitbit or other heart rate monitoring device, moderate intensity is approximately 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. High-intensity exercise is about 70-90% of your maximum heart rate.
If you don’t have a Fitbit, gauge your exercise intensity by your ability to talk without getting out of breath.
So, keeping active is a positive way to strengthen our immune system. Now, let’s look at how resting or, more accurately, sleep can help.
Getting enough sleep is a crucial cornerstone of staying healthy. Sleep is essential during which our body’s immune system can regenerate, repair and fight infections.
Scientific research has shown that people who suffer from a lack of sleep are more likely to get sick if they have been exposed to a virus.
How much sleep do you need?
The optimal amount of sleep for adults is about 7 hours. Children and teenagers need about 10 hours of sleep.
So, sleep is essential for immunity. What about the food we eat?
You may or may not know that about 70 percent of your immune system is found in your gut or, more specifically, your friendly bacteria or microbiome. So, following diet strategies to enhance your microbiome is a smart move.
The following are some dietary tips for helping strengthen your microbiome and boosting your immunity:
- Eat a nutrient-dense whole-food diet.
- Avoid refined sugars, refined grains, industrial seed oils and processed foods.
Stress affects our bodies when circumstances surpass our abilities to cope. When we become stressed, it causes our body to produce more significant amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.
In short periods, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. However, over more extended terms, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood, increasing inflammation.
Long-term high levels of inflammation can lead to an overburdened and weakened immune system.
How can you better manage your stress levels?
Stress management techniques can not only help you feel more relaxed but will also reduce inflammation and so reduce the load on your immune system.
Two of my favourite stress-reducing techniques that studies show can be effective include meditation and yoga.
Try meditating for 10 to 15 minutes daily to help manage your stress.
Practicing yoga only daily can also help lower cortisol and inflammation.
Finally, let’s look at how social connections can help our immune system.
Some past scientific studies show that having secure social connections can reduce a person’s risk of particular health conditions. But how does your social life affect your physical health and, specifically, your immune system?
Studies suggest that loneliness may weaken your immune system by increasing inflammation.
During this time of social isolation, how can we help ourselves?
Here are a couple of tips to help you stay socially connected.
- If you live alone, staying connected with family and friends via phone, skype, and texting are good options.
- Get outside every day in nature, if possible. Staying inside and staring at the TV or four walls will not help.
What Do You Think?
Which strategy will you try first to help strengthen your immune system?
Did I miss any strategies?
Either way, leave a comment below.
If you need extra help, I offer Functional Medicine consultations in person and via telemedicine. To book an appointment or learn more, please call 613 230-0998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply this information without first speaking with your doctor.
Great article Dominick, thanks for the tips.They are very helpful advice.
My pleasure, Sarah.:)
I agree with all points you made about staying healthy and building the immune system. In these stressful times (or any time) I have a suggestion of where to go for walks in nature.
Just off Anderson Road there are several walking trails. Park at parking lots 20 and 21. The trails are groomed for x-country skiers during the winter, but at any time of year go for a relaxing, quiet and uplifting walk in the woods. Just a little further down the road from Parking lot 21 is the Mer Bleue boardwalk over the bog. Don’t forget to bring sunflower seeds for the chickadees, these tiny, brave, little birds will eat the seeds right out of your hand.
Hi Elaine, Thanks for the comment and the super suggestion on where to walk. Stay well. Best wishes Dominick
Some very smart guy some years ago told me that Lyseine supplements can help fight off viruses and since I now take it for a few days every time I think I might be catching something, I rarely actually get sick.
He must be a smart guy. 😉 Watch this space for my next article that will include info on supplements to boost your immune system and fight infection.