Your immune system is your body’s line of defense against illness. If you have poor immunity, you may find yourself getting sick more frequently than others or staying sick for longer. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to strengthen your immune system and improve your overall health. Here are nine ways to boost your immunity:
Getting enough sleep every night is one of the best ways to prevent illness. Rest also helps your body fight off viruses when you do get sick. If you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, try limiting screen time for an hour before bed and following a consistent nightly routine. Blackout curtains and white noise machines can also help create a healthier sleeping environment.
Exercise has countless health benefits, and boosting immunity is one of them. You don’t have to work out intensely for hours every day to experience the benefits of exercise. Try getting 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise, such as briskly walking, swimming, or cycling.
Water helps your body flush out toxins and waste. If you’re not properly hydrated, you may be more vulnerable to illness. The exact amount of water you should drink per day depends on your height, weight, and activity level. However, most adults should consume about 13 cups of water daily.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables ensures that you’re getting plenty of vitamins and other micronutrients. The antioxidants in plant foods can also decrease inflammation and help fight off pathogens. Certain foods are especially valuable for your immune system. For example, consuming garlic and ginger may reduce your risk of catching the common cold.
5. Probiotic Foods
Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut contain helpful bacteria that promote good digestion. Healthy gut bacteria is linked to stronger immunity, so incorporating these foods into your diet is a great way to stay healthy. If you don’t eat fermented foods, you could take a probiotic supplement instead.
6. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Some foods fight inflammation in your body, and others promote it. Chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, so avoiding inflammatory foods may help you avoid illness. Red meat, processed sugar, refined flour, and certain dairy products can all cause inflammation. You don’t have to eliminate these foods from your diet completely, but consider cutting back on them to give your immune system a boost.
7. Light Therapy
Light therapy exposes your body to safe, low-level light that gets absorbed by your cells. This can decrease pain and inflammation and improve your immune system’s functioning. Additionally, light therapy can reduce stress and promote relaxation, which also strengthens your immunity.
8. Reduce Stress
Stress is both a physical and mental experience. When you suffer from chronic stress, your body is constantly on edge. You might have a racing heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and muscle tension. The hormonal changes that happen when your mind and body are under stress can make you more vulnerable to illness. Eliminating stressors from your life or learning stress management techniques will strengthen your immune system and help you feel healthier.
9. Quit Smoking
Smoking impairs your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to acute illnesses, like pneumonia or influenza. When you catch a virus as a smoker, you may also get sick for longer and suffer from more severe symptoms. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it’s one of the best things you can do to improve your physical health.
Even catching a mild illness is an unpleasant experience, so strengthening your immune system is a valuable pursuit. Living an overall healthy lifestyle will boost your immunity and reduce your risk of getting sick. If you eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water, and practice good self-care, you could notice a dramatic difference in your immunity. By taking preventive measures to boost your immune system, you will be able to enjoy more of your daily activities.