Whether you're concerned about contracting a specific illness or you simply want to stay as healthy as possible to allow you to care for your family, continue to work, and enjoy your partner's company as often as possible, boosting your immune system has a number of important benefits. Looking for ways to boost your immune system? Try some of these key strategies.
1. Engage in Self-Care Regularly
As your stress levels rise, your immune system often suffers a corresponding drop. Self-care, however, can help decrease your stress levels and bring your immunity back to normal. Find ways to care for yourself, relax, and decrease stress, including:
Taking a long, hot bath. Relaxing in a tub filled with bubbles or bath salts is a great way to reduce your stress levels. You can also take a book into the tub with you for enhanced enjoyment and relaxation.
Read something just for pleasure. If you spend most of your time reading things for work and rarely have the chance to open a book just because you enjoy it, try choosing a book that you simply enjoy. Curl up in your favorite chair, make a mug of your favorite warm beverage, and enjoy.
2. Change Your Diet
If you consistently eat more junk food than healthy fruits and vegetables, you may notice your immunity dropping--or worse, you may not realize the drop in your immune system until you've already gotten sick. Try changing your diet to boost your immune system. This may include:
Decreasing sugar consumption. Candies, cookies, and other tasty treats may taste great, but that sugar can also decrease your immunity to common bacteria and viruses.
Eat a diet that includes more healthy fruits and vegetables. Most whole plant foods are filled with nutrients that can help your body grow stronger and increase your ability to fight off infection. Try eating a rainbow of different fruits and vegetables to help you get the nutrients your body so richly needs.
Try lean, heart-healthy proteins. Plant-based proteins like beans, nuts, and legumes will offer many benefits to your body. Lean meats, including turkey, chicken, and fish, can also help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
3. Get More Sleep
If you're running short on sleep, your immune system can't function at peak efficiency. The more sleep you miss, the harder it may prove to avoid illness. If you're chronically sleep-deprived, you may notice that you're more likely to pick up every cold that makes its way through the office--or, in many cases, that it takes you longer to kick that illness when you do get sick.
Instead, try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
4. Get Plenty of Exercise
Regular, moderate exercise can boost your body's natural immunity. As you strengthen your muscles and improve your cardio endurance, you'll find that you're also boosting your body's ability to fight off infection and keep you healthy. If you're looking for a new exercise program, try some of these great options:
Get out and take a walk. Take a look at the world around you. Try to maintain a brisk pace that keeps your heart pumping, but that you can maintain easily. You can vary your route from one day to the next so that you get the chance to take in everything around you, rather than feeling stuck in a single location.
Try out yoga. The flexibility you'll build as you participate in regular yoga practice can help you build your endurance and strength.
Get into a dance workout. When you're dancing all your worries away, you may not even feel as though you're exercising. Find a dance workout that uses some of your favorite music--or make up your own.
Ideally, you should try to engage in exercise several times a week. Not only can it boost your immune system, but it may also boost your overall mood.
Keep in mind, however, that while moderate exercise can boost your immune system, extreme exercise can temporarily diminish your immunity due to your body's need to recover from that intense workout. Choose a workout that will help you build strength and stamina while avoiding pushing your body so hard that you damage your ability to fight infection.
If you're worried that you might be fighting off an infection, scale down your exercise routine so your body can focus on fighting that illness.
5. Keep Hydrated
When you're dehydrated, your body simply does not work as effectively as it does when you're well-hydrated. While water may not help you fight off infection directly, it can help your body process out potential contaminants and, as a result, help you avoid illness.
Water is also great for your overall health--and drinking plenty of water can help you feel more energetic and ready to tackle the tasks in front of you each day. Try to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day. If you get sweaty from exercise, make sure you drink more water to replenish what you've lost.
6. Have More Intimacy
Typically, you may not think of sex as something that helps prevent you from getting sick--but the truth is, people who have sex regularly are less likely to take sick days, in general, than their counterparts who are not sexually active. Sex can help boost your immune system, make you feel more energetic, and help you fight off potential infections. While you don't want to have sex with your partner if you're sick and worried about passing on germs, you should have sex more often to help boost your immune system.
Want to boost your enjoyment of sex or increase the fun you're having in bed? Try some of these strategies:
Experiment with something new together. Talk to your partner about your personal fantasies and what you would like to try together. Discuss fantasies that you've been thinking about and consider how you might be able to enjoy them together. Shake things up once in a while! Try a new location or position, change up the way you touch each other, or bring a toy into the bedroom to help enhance your pleasure.
7. Moderate Your Drinking
Drinking a little can help lower your inhibitions and make you more comfortable in the bedroom, especially if you need to have a conversation with your partner about fantasies or desires in the bedroom. Significant drinking, on the other hand, can cause your immune system to deteriorate. Make sure that as you indulge, you indulge responsibly. Try not to drink to the point of drunkenness. Don't indulge every night. When you moderate your drinking, you will substantially improve your overall immunity.