No one likes to be sick. Everyone gets sick from time to time, but some people are more prone to catch a cold or other illness due to having a weaker immune system. Our immune system serves as the last line of defense against bacteria, toxic chemicals, and viruses that cause us to get sick. But did you know that there are steps that can be taken to help improve the state of your immune system? It’s true. The healthcare providers at Family Practice Center are happy to provide the following tips on how to fine-tune your lifestyle and help promote a strong and healthy immune system.

Prioritize Sleep

Not getting enough nightly sleep leaves you more likely to catch a cold or develop an infection. Well-rested people are also typically better protected against the flu. In addition to increasing the levels of stress hormones in the body, a lack of sleep can also lead to inflammation in the body, which can impact the immune system. We recommend trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Learn to Manage Your Stress

Getting stressed out is a natural and unavoidable part of life. However, how you manage that stress can have an effect on your immune system. Chronic stress can that is not dealt with in a healthy way can suppress the immune system over time. To help manage your stress, we recommend breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, or simply speaking about what is stressing you out to help blow off steam.

Adjust Your Diet

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. What you put into your body can impact your immune system’s ability to fight off germs and illness. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants (found in fresh fruits and vegetables) can help support your immune system. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial. Cooking with garlic and ginger is also recommended. You can also aid your immune system by drinking water instead of sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks.

Make Time for Exercise

It’s a fact that people who do not exercise regularly are more likely to get sick than people that do. Getting even a modest amount of exercise or activity every day can help your immune system fight infection. 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking, playing a sport, or working out, per day is recommended.

We hope you found these tips informative and helpful. Instead of trying to overhaul your entire lifestyle, slightly tweaking your routine towards more healthy choices can go a long way towards helping promote the best possible immune health moving forward. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today, please contact Family Practice Center. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and so much more.