For the last two years, people around the world have had their lives completely disrupted by a microscopic virus. Something you can’t see has the power to change the way you do everything. Instead of going to the store to buy groceries and vegetables, you’re ordering them online! Researchers are doing their bit towards developing vaccines and medicines to fight these viruses but you need to do your bit too. Here are a few tips to help boost your immunity and proactively protect yourself from infections.
Have a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
Your immune system resides in your gut. So, the food you eat has a direct relationships with your immunity. If you fill your stomach with junk food, your system will get no nutrition and your immune system will weaken. What you need to do is eat healthy food with a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamin, minerals and healthy fats. This reduces inflammation and strengthens your body’s response to pathogens. It also reduces your risk of chronic diseases. Some foods like probiotics and fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, etc. further strengthen the immune system.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water makes up about 60% of your body. When you’re dehydrated, the immune system’s ability to fight against bacteria and viruses is lowered. This is because insufficient water in the body slows down the lymphatic system. This is the system that transports the cells that can fight infections. So, if the lymphatic system slows down, your body’s ability to fight infection slows down too.
To boost your immunity, you need to stay hydrated. You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Don’t drink this all at once but space it out throughout the day. If you drink a bottle a water at once, most of the water will simply pass through your digestive system without getting absorbed into the body.
Improve Your Sleep Pattern
You may feel like you’re not doing much while you sleep but this is when your body rejuvenates itself. The immune system is built while you sleep. Thus, to boost your immunity, you need to improve your sleep patterns. You should be getting around 8 hours of sleep every night. Set up a schedule for yourself wherein you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
If you find it difficult to sleep, darken the room, switch off all your electronics and change your schedule through the day. Eat earlier so you can digest your dinner in time and sleep comfortably. Also, avoid having any caffeine in the evening.
Schedule Some Exercise
Exercising does a lot more than build muscles. It helps you de-stress and strengthens your immune system. Exercising improves blood circulation and makes it easier for cells that fight infection to reach all the extremities of your body. Try and schedule about half an hour of exercise every day. You don’t need to necessarily go to a gym – climb the stairs to the top floor of your building, go for a run or play a field game you enjoy.
Minimize The Amount of Sugar You Eat
Sugar contributes what are known as empty calories. It provides no nutritive value but increases your risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, etc. This, in turn, increases your risk of falling ill by weakening your immune system. So, to strengthen your immune system and protect yourself against diseases, you should reduce your sugar intake. Ideally, you should have no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar in a day. Instead of sugar, you could use natural sweeteners like honey, jaggery, date syrup, etc.
Manage Your Stress
Stress has an indirect relationship with your immune health. The more stressed you are, the weaker your immune system. Stress causes inflammation and imbalances in the immune system. Hence, it is vital to manage your stress levels and find ways to destress yourself. Meditation and yoga are time-tested methods that have proved to be quite effective. You could also try maintaining a journal or seek counselling if required.
Maintaining a good lifestyle is critical step to boost your immunity. You should also get regular preventative health checkups.That said, even with a strong immune system, you may still fall ill from time to time. When you experience symptoms of a disease, you must consult a doctor at the earliest and start treatment.