Did you know that a poor diet, a lack of sleep and exercise can affect your immune system? Now is an important time to make your health a priority and implement a self-care policy for you and your family.
What Is the Immune System?
The immune system protects us from disease and defends our bodies from infection. It is one of the most complex systems in the body and is made up of white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and the bone marrow. These are the main parts of your immune system that actively fight infection.
How Can I Support My Immune System?
Here are 5 simple and natural ways you can help to support your immune system.
1. Wash your hands
It is important to wash your hands correctly, especially the areas around your fingernails, between fingers and the backs of your hands. Viruses can survive for some time outside the human body, which means you can get sick from shaking a sick person’s hand or touching high traffic surfaces like a doorknob or fridge door and then touching your face. Hand washing is one of the best strategies you can use to avoid getting sick. It should take you at least 20 seconds to wash your hands. Make sure to use running warm water and soap and wash your hands after visiting the toilet, and before and after eating. Also, make sure to dry your hands thoroughly.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Not getting enough sleep as well as poor quality sleep can have an effect on your immune system. Cytokines are proteins that are released during sleep and play an important role in your body’s ability to fight infections. The amount of sleep that one person needs to function compared to another may vary. Though it is recommended for adults to get 7-9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep to fully function. If you are having difficulties sleeping due to pain or waking up with stiffness or pain it might help to visit us at Sandgate Physical Health Clinic. We can assess your needs and recommend treatment options or tools to help you sleep more comfortably.
3. Drink lots of water
Drinking lots of water helps flush toxins from the body and keeps mucus in the respiratory tract thin. If you have a cold, mucus increases to fight the infection and keeping the mucus thin can make it easier for it to be expelled from the body either through coughing or a runny nose.
4. Eat well
Eating a healthy, balanced diet which is rich in whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds; is important for a healthy immune system. A large part of your immune system is in your digestive tract therefore it is essential to keep your intestinal lining healthy and functioning well.
5. Exercise regularly
Regular gentle exercise is good for both your immune system and your mental health. Exercise boosts blood flow, which circulates white blood cells around your body. White blood cells are part of the immune system and the body’s first line of defence. They travel through your blood and tissues looking for foreign invaders like fungi, parasites, viruses and bacteria.