Healthy Ways To Raise Up Your Immunity Against Diseases
We should all know that our immune system is our first line of defense against a variety of virus and bacterial infections, but ironically, this is something that most of us often complacently overlook, isn't it so? This is until, of course, when we are up against with the next big deadly threat like the Corona virus, and in particular, the Covid19 pandemic which is sweeping the world in 2020 leaving a trail of human sufferings, deaths and economic disasters.
While good personal hygiene such as washing our hands with soap more frequently and avoiding the sharing of eating utensils are crucial to being safer from transmittable infections, strengthening and building up our immune system is still our best form defense against a vast plethora of harmful pathogens and bugs. Thus here are some of the more effective ways to beef up your immunity to infectious diseases.
1) Always Be Active - Regular exercise and physical activities are absolutely necessary for maintaining a healthy immune system, so it is best not skip your workouts even though gyms can seem like hotbeds of infection. If your gym is closed, then you can do body weight exercises anywhere. The fitter you are, the better you are able to ward off diseases.
Exercise helps to lower your stress level and improves the circulation of blood and antibodies in your body, thus reducing the risk of infection. These benefits are not just theoretical in nature since numerous studies has shown that following an exercise regimen can reduce infection rates and if you are already down with an infection, it will help to improve your recovery time and get better sooner rather than later.
If you are squeamish about working out in a gym, you can also exercise at home or indulge in activities like brisk walking, jogging, or cycling outdoors. Any form of exercise is better than no exercise at all and the earlier you begin exercising, the better. In a documented study, it was found that active cyclists in the age group of 55 to 79 had the immune function of young adults. You can bet they are feeling pretty good right about now, don't you think so?
Furthermore, regular exercise can help you to lose weight. So maintaining a healthy weight is also another immune booster.
2) Protect Your Gut Microbiome - Microbiome is an array of microbes in our bodies and having more than enough good microbes can help to protect your immune system.
In regards to the food we consume, most people simply think that consuming more vitamin C to raise their immunity in combating diseases and infections. Sure, of course there is no doubt about the importance of vitamin C for this purpose, but it is certainly not the only micro-nutrient needed for a healthy immunity function.
To improve your immunity against infections, you will need to adopt a balanced and healthy diet all the time. The Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet are perhaps the better diet choices among others. Furthermore, you will also have to take action to protect your gut microbiome, which is vitally important for healthy immune system.
Folks who are dealing with inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid and various forms of arthritis, diabetes, and asthma will tend to be more susceptible to infectious diseases because of a less varied range of gut microbiome. For them to thrive abundantly, you will need to have a well balanced diet with high fiber food and probiotic foods such as yogurt, tempeh, and preserved vegetables or pickles such as the Korean kimchi and sauerkraut. As with all nutrients, it is much better to get them from natural food sources rather than in supplementation forms.
3) Leading A Less Stressful Lifestyle - Stress, whether acquired mentally or physically has long been thought to be an influential cause for the lowering the immunity level, but we now have empirical evidence of its destruction to our immune system.
Several research has shown that people who are highly stressed up are more vulnerable and prone to infections from the common cold virus, among other diseases. This is because stress hormones like cortisol do impact and damage the immune system by plummeting the lymphocyte level. Thus the negative effects of stress can also be indirectly felt, as it makes it more difficult to maintain healthy routines and as such the likelihood of succumbing to unhealthy behaviors, most of the time unknowingly at that.
Although it is rather impossible to eliminate stress completely, knowing and practicing stress reduction techniques can help quite a fair bit. While working out with a regular exercise routine can be very effective to reduce your stress level, it is not the only stress relieving methodology that you can opt for.
Why not try out some other ways such as having a daily quiet time meditation, muscle relaxation methods, having a massage occasionally, taking up yoga lessons, practice stretching and deep breathing exercises regularly. These methods are also known to cut down stress level and can be enjoyable at the same time too. Let's do them as the benefits arising thereof is certainly worth the effort, don't you think so?
4) Getting Adequate Sleep - Having enough sleep is a natural immune system booster that most people are being complacent about. Sleep deprivation, whether caused by sleep disorders or any other reasons such as sleep apnea, has a negative effect on your immunity system that makes you more susceptible to various infections.
Having insufficient sleep raises the cortisol levels and impairs T cell which is a type of lymphocyte which plays a major role in the immune response which is vital for fending off infections. A study published in JAMA (an organization which publishes original research and commentary on clinical care and global health) found that getting less than 6 hours of sleep each night increases the risk of colds and respiratory diseases.
Sleep quality can be improved greatly simply by practicing good habits and pre-sleep rituals. For example, having hot baths, dimming all the lights, avoid playing or watching digital screens, and avoiding stimulating activities for a couple of hours before bed can help to enhance your sleep quality. Early evening exercise and meditation routines before bedtime can also help you to sleep better.
5) Cut Back on Alcohol & Nicotine Consumption - Smoking is most strongly associated with the risk of cancer, but any kind of nicotine intake impairs immune function. This means that whether you smoke traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes, you’re increasing your risk of infection. Nicotine raises cortisol levels, reduces the formation of antibodies and T cell responses. In addition, both types of nicotine consumption have been linked to lung damage, increasing the risk of respiratory infections.
While moderate alcohol intake is non-threatening, excessive alcohol consumption is believed to lower lymphocyte levels and weaken the response of macrophages. Acetaldehyde, the main alcohol metabolite, may also impair the lungs’ ciliary function, increasing vulnerability to airborne and respiratory infections.
Boosting your immunity may take on a new urgency at this moment, but these healthy habits should be adopted for life. The health benefits that they offer, including strengthened immunity, are accumulative. This means that the earlier you make healthy changes to your lifestyle, the better the outcome will be as you age.