Your immune system is your army against disease, illness, and other foreign pathogens. It’s the reason you don’t get sick (or at least, don’t get sick too often), and is also the reason you don’t end up on the brink of death when you are actually sick.
In this article, we explore how the immune system works, and various ways you can boost it - including how an infrared sauna may help! Let’s take a closer look.
What Is The Immune System?
The immune system consists of a network of cells and tissues ready to fight off any attack from foreign invaders. When a foreign cell, such as bacteria, fungi, toxins, or viruses, enters the body, it effectively destroys and eliminates it. There are two main parts of the immune system, the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system .
The innate immune system is inherited from your mother when you are born. This line of defense recognizes any foreign entity and springs into action.
An immune cell, called a pathogen, engulfs the foreign cell and destroys it. This part of the immune system also includes your skin, which effectively keeps most viruses or bacteria out of your body.
Your adaptive immune system develops after your exposure to an invader. When your body is exposed to a specific bacteria, virus, or another foreign cell, it creates antibodies that recognize the foreign invaders and activate the immune response to destroy them.
The older you get, and the more pathogens you have been exposed to, the stronger your immune system becomes . But it’s important to know that this system can be impacted by your general health.
For instance, if you don’t consume enough nutrients, are stressed, or don’t sleep enough, you may unknowingly suppress some immune system function, which may cause you to get sick more often. The good news is that there are many ways you can boost your immune system and lead a healthy and happy life where chronic sickness won’t hold you back.
How To Boost Your Immune System
There are many ways to control how frequently one becomes sick and how well the immune system can function. Generally, maintaining good health is a great starting point.
In fact, by taking care of your general health, you boost your immune system and other systems and organs as well. Some strategies to keep your immune system in tip-top shape include:
1. Consuming a Healthy & Balanced Diet
Getting the right amounts of certain nutrients can help your immune system function at its best . Specific nutrients that have been recognized for their role in helping with immune cell function and growth include vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, protein, zinc, and selenium .
The best way to obtain these vitamins, except vitamin D, is through eating foods that contain them, such as orange juice, meats, and many more. Vitamin D is best obtained through sunlight, where the skin uses cholesterol to synthesize it.
2. Getting Enough Sleep
The human body requires the right kind of sleep to properly restore and repair. Most experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep for the average adult.
However, the quality of your sleep matters just as much as the duration. It’s further thought that sleep is required for the formation of immunological memory .
3. Quitting Smoking
Various studies indicate that cigarette smoke is harmful to the immune system and its function. Many immune cells are negatively impacted by smoking, such as T helper cells, regulatory T cells, and memory lymphocytes . By quitting smoking, you’ll be boosting your immune system and overall health and wellness.
4. Performing Regular Exercise
Regular exercise boosts immune system function and slows down the aging process. This effectively reduces how often one gets sick by making sure the immune system functions as it should, while also ensuring the body’s cells don’t become overly damaged (meaning they are also functioning as they should) . In addition, regular exercise supports good cardiovascular health, improved sleep, improved respiratory function, and much more!
5. Minimizing Stress Through Infrared Sauna Sessions
Researchers suggest that stress has a huge impact on your immune system function. More specifically, chronic stress, stress that occurs for a prolonged duration, may suppress the immune response .
Finding ways to minimize and reduce stress is invaluable to the function of your immune system. To reduce stress try including meditation, breathing techniques, and relaxation techniques. You can even take these methods or practices a step further by performing them in an infrared sauna.
Infrared sauna use alone is associated with increased relaxation and reduced stress. Various studies note that thermotherapy, including infrared sauna sessions, can help lower oxidative stress and increase feelings of calm and relaxation .
Also, by combining relaxation and de-stressing techniques you can further these benefits and reduce your risk of chronic stress, positively impacting your health and immune function in the process. Infrared sauna use may also improve cardiovascular function, which can help circulatory mechanisms involved in the immune response.
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