What To Do To Strengthen Your Immune System
The immune system protects your body from foreign invaders and substances. This army of cells enables you to fight off a cold or bounce back after the flu. Generally, a healthy immune system comes down to having a strong and robust body.
Typically, performing only one activity or eating a certain food high in an important micronutrient (vitamins) is not enough to boost the immune system. However, when you perform various actions regularly, you improve your health and, thus, strengthen your immune system function. So, let’s take a closer look at what you can do to improve this function, as well as your general health.
1. Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep Per Night
It’s no secret that sleep is important and not getting enough regularly can impact whether or not your body becomes infected with a minor or severe cold/flu. Research even shows that shorter sleep durations are associated with an increased likelihood of getting sick . Furthermore, low sleep quality and quantity are linked to higher inflammation and decreased immunity . You want to aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, as well as thoroughly examine how you can improve your sleep hygiene to achieve a better night’s sleep.
2. Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods contain more nutrients than processed or pre-packaged foods. Many of these foods, like blueberries, also contain antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight off free radicals that cause damage and increase inflammation in the body . Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases, but by including more whole foods in your body, you can obtain the nutrients and compounds your body needs to function at its best and fight off any foreign invaders .
3. Avoid or Limit Processed Foods and Added Sugars
Processed food often contains various additives, preservatives, chemicals, and added sugars. High consumption of these foods is linked to a higher risk of obesity, and obesity creates major opportunities for the onset of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes .
4. Perform Regular Physical Activity
Regular and moderate, non-vigorous physical activity is also associated with overall better health and longevity . If you are new to exercising, consider slowly easing into it and starting with 15 to 20 minutes per session. Eventually, you will want to build up to about 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week to reap the health benefits and immune boost associated with it.
5. Drink Enough Water
Being dehydrated can increase your susceptibility to illness and disease. In fact, it can even decrease vital functions, including that of the liver and kidneys . Lack of water can put you at a higher risk of disease as your body is already stressed from dehydration. Aim to drink regularly throughout your day and consider having a canteen of water at all times. Doing so will prevent you from purchasing sugary alternatives while you’re on the go.
6. Decrease The Stress In Your Life
Have you ever noticed that you become sick during times of high stress? Events like large work projects can elicit enormous amounts of continuous stress, which can then compromise one’s immune system. This is referred to as chronic stress and can interfere with the regulation of inflammation and immunity . As a result, you can end up feeling lousy, but you can take action and not let stress get the best of you. Find ways to relax, such as quiet time, meditation, and other various techniques that can calm you.
7. Consider Supplements
Usually, supplements shouldn’t be considered unless recommended by your doctor. The best way to obtain vitamins and minerals is through the food you eat. However, there is evidence showing that vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and others can help boost your immune response . It’s best to always discuss your options with a doctor before taking any new supplements. You should also conduct your own research to determine if the type of supplement you are considering works and if you need to consume specific types of food with it to increase absorption in the digestive tract.
8. Start Using An Infrared Sauna Regularly
Infrared therapy benefits include decreasing inflammation and regulating immune activity, such as reducing inflammation associated with autoimmune disease . In fact, researchers claim it may be a beneficial complement to treatments for chronic diseases containing no adverse health effects . Many individuals use infrared sauna therapy three to four times a week for 15 to 45 minutes at a time. If you are new to infrared therapy, start with less time to build your tolerance. This way, you can reap the benefits without causing any ill effects.
Start strengthening your immunity through infrared sauna therapy and taking care of your overall health. Enjoy your life to the fullest without any sick days holding you back!
 Hall M.H., Cohen S., Prather A.A., et al. (2015). “Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Sleep, 1 September 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26118561.
 Besedovsky L., Lange T., & Haack M. (2019). “The Sleep-Immune Crosstalk in Health and Disease.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Physiol Rev, 1 July 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30920354,
 Peluso I., & Serafini M. (2016). “Functional Foods for Health: The Interrelated Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Role of Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Spices and Cocoa in Humans.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Curr Pharm Des, 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27881064.
 Hunter P. (2012). “The inflammation theory of disease. The growing realization that chronic inflammation is crucial in many diseases opens new avenues for treatment.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, November 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/.
 Andrews P., Johnson R.J., et al. (2017). Perspective: A Historical and Scientific Perspective of Sugar and Its Relation with Obesity and Diabetes.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Adv Nutr, 15 May 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28507007.
 Hruby A., & Hu F. B. (2015). “The Epidemiology of Obesity: A Big Picture.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, PharmacoEconomics, July 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4859313/.
 Stringer W.W. (1995). “Total physical activity and mortality were inversely related in men.” acpjournals.org, 1 September 1995, https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/ACPJC-1995-123-2-053.
 Popkin B. M., D'Anci K. E., & Rosenberg I. H. (2010). “Water, hydration, and health.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Nutrition reviews, August 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/.
 Cohen S., Doyle W.J., et al. (2012). “Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 17 April 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22474371.
 Chalker E., & Hemila H. (2013). “Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 31 January 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440782.
 Mathieu C., Gysemans C., et al. (2017). “Regulation of Immune Function by Vitamin D and Its Use in Diseases of Immunity.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am, December 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29080635.
 Hemila H. (2017). “Zinc lozenges and the common cold: a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, JRSM Open, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28515951.
 Hussain J., & Cohen M. (2018). “Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. 24 April 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5941775/.
 Shui S., Wang X., et al. (2015). “Far-infrared therapy for cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other chronic health problems: A systematic review.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Experimental biology and medicine, October 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4935255/.