Immune System Boosting Tips to Keep You Healthy

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The nursing world is full of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other potentially harmful things that enter the body and keep the immune system busy.

Amazingly, the system can recognize these nasty outsiders and fight them off.

Sometimes, though, your immune system takes longer to battle diseases, and sometimes it fails altogether. It’s not perfect, as amazing as it is, but can be strengthened just like your muscles and brain function.

Your white blood cells – the ones that take down infection – can weaken and leave you with longer colds and harsher illnesses. Try to avoid this by adopting these habits and pastimes that will boost your immune system.

Exercise Regularly

Getting your heart rate up can have monumental health benefits. In addition to strengthening your immune system, physical activity can help you lose weight and put you in a better mood. In fact, losing weight and carrying less stress (results of regular exercise) are two bonus aspects of exercise that will leave you with better immune function. So, as you can see, exercise really sets off the cycle of benefits.

You don’t need to go out and buy a gym membership, either. Studies show that a mere 20-minute walk can pack some punch to your immune system. It’s better to incorporate thirty minutes to an hour of more intense exercise, as it gets your heart pumping more actively, but a walk is a great place to start.

Healthy-Eating

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Eat Healthy

If you played the “I don’t have time” card for exercise, don’t lose hope. Eating healthy is another practice that can better your immune system. You should be consuming meals with immune-boosting components. In addition to fruits and veggies, which are always good news, you should think about eating yogurt, which has calcium, protein and probiotics, helpful disease-fighting bacteria.

Pack your diet with Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and broccoli. Many fruit juices contain a lot of Vitamin C, but try to opt for solids over liquids, as juices also contain a lot of sugar.

Nuts and whole grains contain lots of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that can assist in battling bad cells. They also consist of protein, which helps to strengthen the body in general. Another great source of protein is lean meats, like chicken breast or pork chops. These are also loaded with zinc, which helps white blood cells fight against infections.

Garlic and mushrooms are two other foods that have been proven to boost immune function. They both contain chemicals that help the body respond to infection.

Make sure you are incorporating a variety of foods in your diet. Don’t get caught up on whatever is popular that week. By including items from all essential food groups, you give your body more to work with.

Sleep Soundly, Regularly

Even if you have a hectic schedule, you need to prioritize your sleep. You shouldn’t try to get by with as little as you can manage. Sleeping little will, in addition to leaving you cranky and lethargic, negatively impact your immune system.

The necessary amount of sleep varies from person to person. You should be able to feel when you’re not getting enough. Don’t ignore what your body is telling you. Gauge the amount you need, and adjust your schedule accordingly.

Manage Stress

It’s nearly impossible to avoid stress entirely. However, if you’re constantly tense, you’re at a higher risk of infection and disease. In fact, the National Institute of Health claims that stress-related hormones increase vulnerability to obesity, heart disease and cancer, among other health issues.

You should practice stress management, like meditation or talking to a friend. Take a break from whatever has you weighed down. Do some physical activity. As I stated, exercise is beneficial in more ways than one, and managing stress is one of them. So go for a jog or a walk to let go of your stress.

Limit Drinking and Omit Drugs

Do not binge drink. Drinking wine or beer in moderation – one drink daily for ladies, two for men – can help you de-stress and may even benefit health, but drinking excessively can cause immunodeficiency.

Drugs, in addition to possibly landing you in drug rehab, hurt your immune system. Studies show that cigarettes and tobacco products are detrimental to many components within the immune system. Plus, these products increase your risk of many illnesses and diseases, for which you’ll need your healthiest immune function at work. So if you weren’t motivated before, there’s another reason to quit.

Altering these aspects of your lifestyle can really boost your immune system and leave you feeling healthier. If you practice all of them, you can also enjoy a leaner body and a lighter weight upon your shoulders. The fact that you can still relish a glass of wine with dinner is just an added bonus.

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About the author

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger with a passion for productivity and motivation. You can read more of her Nursing Feed posts by following her on Google+ and Twitter, or you can check out her site, ProductivityTheory.com for more posts!

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