As the weather changes and people spend more time inside, we more easily spread germs. In 2020, as we face both flu season and COVID-19 cases, boosting our immune system has never been so important. So, let’s do it!
Here are 5 ways we suggest nurturing a healthy immune system:
1. Eat key nutrients
While it’s easy to get off course during winter with the holidays and cold weather, it’s important to make sure you’re eating a nutrient-dense diet. Fruits and vegetables are major germ fighters! They provide most of our body’s supply of Vitamin A and C. Produce also packs an antioxidant punch, reducing inflammation and protecting the immune system.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 2.5 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit a day. Try to mix up type and color to give your nutrient intake some diversity!
2. Move your body
Hectic schedule and can’t make it to the gym today? That’s OK as long as you get up and move! Take a brisk walk, do some jumping jacks, crank out some air squats, just get moving.
Body movement pumps our blood more rapidly, helping white blood cells, which fight disease, more easily absorb into our bodies. Exercise also reduces stress and increases body temperature — both contributors to a stronger immune system.
3. Get enough sleep
Start counting those sheep! It’s critical to our immune system function.
According to the CDC:
- Teens, 13-18, need 8-10 hours per 24 hours
- Adults, 18-60. need 7 or more hours per night
- Adults, 61-64, need 7-9 hours per night
- Adults, 65+, need 7-8 hours per night
Eating well and moving that body will help achieve solid sleep!
4. Balance stress levels
Stress? What stress? Right! We’ve all got it now and then, and it weakens our immune system, lowering our body’s resistance to infections. Take time to relax and decompress, meditate or just take 30 minutes for yourself everyday.
5. Employ good hygiene
It may seem simple, but good personal hygiene habits are SO important! They can stop the spread of germs before they have a chance to test our immune systems.
Wash those hands with soap and water! Cough into your elbow rather than your hand if you don’t have a tissue. Resist the urge to pick at blemishes and small wounds. This opens us up to infection. Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene!
Beyond maintaining our immune systems, these five practices will make you feel good. Give yourself some love!