There is no certain way to guarantee that we won't get a cold or flu or even how our body will react if we do get ill. There are, however, certain fundamentals that we can implement that will help make a significant difference.
Keeping your immune system healthy and operating at its best is important for your ability to fight pathogens.
Consistently practising healthy behaviours can help you:
· reduce your exposure and susceptibility to viruses
· optimise your immune function over time
· better prepare your body to fight off foreign invaders
Eat a Healthy & Balanced Diet
A balanced diet rich in antioxidants (found in vegetables and fruits) and healthy fats can help support your immune system.
Choose whole, natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, and nuts.
When you look at your plate you want to see mostly vegetables and in as many colours of the rainbow as possible to maximise nutritional value.
Limit refined sugars (known to weaken immunity), alcohol and processed foods.
Drinking water helps your cells operate optimally and it helps your body to better process food and eliminate waste.
Your body needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best, especially if you are suffering from symptoms like fever, coughing, diarrhoea and vomiting, which can easily dehydrate you.
Healthy hydration levels can help your nose by maintaining the mucous membrane and decreasing irritation when coughing, sneezing and breathing.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a time of restoration for the body and can help improve your body’s natural immune function.
Studies show that people who do not get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.
Lack of sleep can affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.
Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and cardiovascular disease.
The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night.
Moderate to intense workouts lasting under an hour help boost your immune system both immediately and in the long run.
Exercise is known to improve immune system health and at the same time release endorphins and combat stress.
Exercise promotes good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
Chronic stress appears to wear down your immune system and make you more vulnerable to illness.
Stress weakens the immune systems ability to respond to invaders, leaving you more vulnerable to infection.
Recovery is also likely to be slower since the immune system is suppressed in favour of dealing with stress.