“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Maya Angelou
Having and maintaining a healthy immune system is always beneficial. Your immune system offers protection all year round. When winter weather and colder temperatures arrive it’s a good idea to make sure your immune system is strong. When it’s strong it helps keep you healthy.
The immune system is your body’s natural defense mechanism. Like other systems in the body, as you get older your immune function declines. That means you need to be even more diligent about supporting and strengthening your immune system.
Building Healthy Immunity
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help improve and support your immune system.
There are several ways to do it naturally.
Eating healthy, nutritious foods, being physically active, getting the proper amount of sleep, and alleviating chronic stress all support immune health. If you don’t do these things you may have a weak or compromised immune system. When your immune system is depleted bacteria, viruses, or toxins can overwhelm your body and lead to illness.
Proper nutrition is essential for your immune system to work well. The foods you eat may help you avoid or potentially reverse certain diseases.
Did you know that 70 - 80% of your immune system resides in your gut? To keep your gut healthy include plenty of fiber in your diet. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It’s important to eat a wide variety as each contains different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By the way, fiber is only found in plants.
In addition, drink plenty of fresh, pure water. Every day you should consume in ounces an amount equal to half your body weight in pounds. (Ex. If you weigh 125 lbs drink 62.5oz of water). Cut down on or eliminate salt, refined sugar, refined flour, dairy products, food additives, preservatives and colorings, and alcohol.
Leading a sedentary, inactive lifestyle can contribute to a weak immune system. Conversely, exercise allows your immune system to do a more efficient job and may contribute to better functioning white blood cells which fight infections.
Adults should get 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 5 times a week. Strength training can also help support your immune system. For optimal health include a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training into your weekly fitness routine.
Your body uses sleep as a way to heal itself. Adequate sleep helps the T cells in your body fight infection. T cells play an important role in the immune system by killing virally infected cells.
Regular bouts of insomnia may leave you vulnerable to illnesses, including colds, flu, and other infections.
Strive to consistently get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night in order to maintain a healthy body and mind and promote a state of overall wellness. A short midday nap can recharge the immune system too!
When your body is under constant stress, you’re more vulnerable to both minor illnesses and major diseases. Some stress is normal but to be under constant stress is not good for your health and can weaken the immune system. To reduce stress consider meditating, tapping (EFT), or use intentional breathing techniques.
Other ways to alleviate stress include engaging in a craft or hobby, self care activities, and journaling.
In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management, essential oils and supplements can be part of a holistic approach to boosting the immune system and protecting you from disease.
Click the button below for some great diffuser blends, roller bottle and room spray recipes to help support a healthy immune system.
Looking for other ideas on how to naturally support your health and well-being Schedule a free 30 minute wellness consult. You don’t have to figure out how to do it all by yourself. I’m here to help. Click the button below.