Your immune system is a crucial part of staying healthy. With the cold weather, more people stay indoors. As a result, they’re more likely to pass germs back and forth and spread illness. With the right preventive measures, though, you can stay healthy this winter and keep those around you a little healthier, too.
Treat Your Body Well
Everyone knows how to do this – eat right, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. That said, many people don’t enact what they know. Eating right can be a struggle; healthy foods are often more expensive than processed ones. Maintaining a healthy weight and a good sleep schedule is also hard, especially during the holidays. But making the effort will reap great results. Small changes, such as eating one extra fruit or vegetable a day or going to bed 30 minutes early, add up to a stronger immune system.
Don’t Rely on Immunity-Boosting Products
Supplements, energy drinks, and similar products claim to boost immunity but don’t yield the results they claim. No one knows how many cells the immune system needs to function best or what the right mix of cells is. There is no scientific evidence to prove that boosting certain cells will make you healthier. Be skeptical of immunity-boosting products. You are better off taking multivitamins or mineral supplements.
The connection between stress and the immune system hasn’t been studied extensively. However, frequent and chronic stress may damage your immune system. To reduce stress, give yourself plenty of calming outlets. Pray, meditate, or do yoga or Pilates. Take a walk and bring a pet if you have one. Read for pleasure or play brain games to keep your mind sharp.
Don’t Drink or Smoke
Alcohol and tobacco undermine the immune system. If you drink or smoke, you are more vulnerable to lung infections, liver diseases, gastrointestinal problems, and other illnesses. Cut down as much as possible; see your doctor if you need help. If you have an alcohol or tobacco addiction, professional rehabilitation programs may provide needed support.