Things are a bit crazy for all of us right now. It’s scary, and it’s OK to feel uncertain or anxious. The best thing we can do is to take care of our loved ones and practice social distancing. We also need to care for ourselves, and that means prioritizing our health now more than ever before. Our immune systems are responsible for fighting off infections when we get sick, so it’s a good idea to give yours a boost. There are no magic cures or elixirs — Your best bet is to practice common sense and partake in some healthy practices to equip your body with the right defenses. Here are some tips that may help boost your immune system.
Get Enough Rest
Sleep is essential to our health. Studies link inadequate sleep to ailments ranging from obesity to diabetes to decreased immune function. Research shows that lack of sleep can limit our bodies’ ability to resist infection, so it’s even more important to get enough rest when you’re trying to boost your immune system. One study, in particular, showed that those who slept too little were more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus. On average, the recommendation is to get about seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Check out some of our previous posts for more sleeping assistance:
Stress is another factor that has a major impact on our health and ability to fight off disease. When we’re stressed, our bodies release cortisol. Too much cortisol leads to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Stress also lowers the number of white blood cells you have that fight off infection. That’s why de-stressing is so important, especially during times of heightened health risks. Here are some simple yoga moves you can do to relieve anxiety at home in your apartment.
It should come as no surprise that our immune system is better prepared to fight infections if we stick to a healthy diet. But as we said, there’s no magical food that’s been proven to boost your immune system. Instead, focus on eating nutrient-packed foods like vegetables, fruit and protein sources to keep your body functioning optimally. Be sure to get enough Vitamin C and Vitamin D in your diet.
Staying hydrated is another way you can keep your body functioning at its best. When you’re ill, consuming water can help support your immune system as it fights off infectious intruders, but it’s best not to wait until that’s happening to get hydrated. It is recommended that women consume 11.5 cups of fluids each day and men consume 15.5 cups of fluid on a daily basis.
Practice Good Hygiene
We’ve all seen the handwashing memes. Now, let’s put our favorites to good use by being diligent about washing our hands often. Practicing good hygiene, like hand washing, is one of the best ways we can keep ourselves, and our communities, safe. Keeping your home clean is also extra important at this time. Here’s a helpful article from NPR on how to disinfect surfaces.