If you’ve ever watched Star Trek, in any of its forms, you’ve probably heard the captain of the ship tell his or her crew, “Shields up!” If an enemy tried to fire on their ship, obviously they’d want good defense so the ship wouldn’t get damaged.
Our bodies are kind of like spaceships, in the sense that we need protection from invaders, too. Our “shields up” equates to the body’s immune system, which defends against infectious organisms, microbes, and other invaders. If and when something enters our system that’s “not right,” we naturally have an “immune response” which aims to quell and ultimately get rid of the nasty invader.
What are some ways to boost your immune system?
For starters, a good night’s sleep is essential. You should be getting about 8 hours of sleep per night. If the body isn’t well-rested, then the immune system is compromised. Sleep deprivation leads to an increase in the hormone cortisol– and when this happens for a prolonged period of time, the immune function gets suppressed. That’s not good. Also, keep in mind that stress isn’t good for you and your immune system either, so anything you can do to relieve stress helps. A lot of people make regular exercise routines part of their daily lives because exercise is a great stress reliever. If you haven’t been to the gym, taken a brisk walk around the neighborhood, or joined an organized sport lately, perhaps now’s the time to do so.
Next, it’s important to avoid tobacco smoke and drink less alcohol. Smoking and drinking aren’t good for you, in general, and both actions impair your immune system. Will it be easy to quit smoking or eliminate alcohol from your life? No. But with help, you can change… if you want to.
Also, to boost your immune system, there are certain things you’ll want to get more of in your daily diet. There are some nutrient-rich foods that will help: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic are all very good for you. Add “probiotics” to your diet, too. Studies have shown these supplements help reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.
Finally, catch more sun rays because sunlight gets your body to produce Vitamin D. Something as simple as spending time outdoors in the sunshine for 10 to 15 minutes a day can help boost your immune system and make you feel healthier and happier. Ever wonder why people who live in cloudy cities seem so glum and sick all the time? Now you know! Meanwhile, people living in places like Florida seem to be happier and healthier. Where you live can truly affect your immune system and overall sense of well-being.