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How strong is your immune system? Read here on how to stay healthy!

girl in winter

It’s wintertime again… The cold weather came creeping inside through the front and the back door. Temperature spikes and the change of seasons mold our everyday lives, and unfortunately for us, not always for the better. Winter often means catching a cold, fighting a fever, or coughing like crazy. If you’re experiencing some or all of these then you came to the right spot.

Here we present our most valuable advice for optimizing your immune system and fighting off unwanted diseases. Hopefully, some of these will make you feel better or keep you healthy not only throughout the upcoming months but the whole year. Acquiring some general knowledge on health is always useful.

Let us start with some clarification first.

What is the immune system?

Grossly simplified, the immune system is a system inside of each and every one of us which is responsible for the acquisition of homeostasis. In other words, it keeps us healthy and in fine shape. Our body fights bacteria, viruses, germs, and other potentially harmful organisms every day, every hour, and every second and we haven’t got a single clue. Amazing, right?

white blood cells in blood stream, 3D illustration
A 3-D illustration of red and white blood cells in our blood stream.

We only realize that something is wrong with our body when the immune system is not winning the battles with ease. How do we know that? We start experiencing various symptoms, such as a running nose, coughing or a higher body temperature than usual. This doesn’t mean that the immune system isn’t working anymore. On the contrary, it’s working more than it usually does.

There are certain ways we can promote its work and propel ourselves to the health victory we all yearn for. The essentials on which we decided to focus on are these: nutrition, physical exercise, sleeping, and avoiding stress.

Nutrition

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Something we’ve all heard a bunch of times. The immune system functions better if you feed it with the right food. It will have less work to do with heavy food processing and will therefore focus on health protection. Moreover, some of the foods we will mention here have extremely important vitamins and minerals which aid greatly in the efforts our immune system makes.

Citrus fruits
Chop up some citrus fruits and put them in your water bottle!

Eating the above-mentioned apples will make a difference, but also more citrus fruits (such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit), broccoli, and spinach are recommended. Drink some ginger or green tea if you prefer tea, and if not, having some yogurt might do the trick for you. Lastly, try to drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated will naturally remove waste and unwanted material out of your body.

Exercise

Performing any sort of physical activity will promote your overall well-being. Running, walking, cycling and swimming are great exercises which you can do every day in order to keep your immune system functioning properly. Sometimes people neglect the importance of the daily physical activity. Having a 30-minute walk versus sitting inside comfortably can make a world of difference if you look at it from a larger scale. Exercising regulates blood pressure, it promotes your blood flow and can reduce inflammation.

Morning exercise running
Save up time by jogging in the morning!

Next on the list are cold showers! Now, I know that sounds scary, but bear with me here. Having a cold shower might greatly help you out with keeping your body healthy. Certain scientific studies have shown that cold showers help our bodies in producing more white blood cells which help with fighting off the bacteria attacking our immune system.

Obviously, your cold showers don’t need to be very long. Starting off with a 30-second cold shower should suffice for starters. Gradually, you should feel more comfortable. After a couple of sessions, you should increase the time you spend under the cold water. Consider forming a routine when it comes to cold showers since they have shown to leave positive effects on more than just good health.

Sleeping

Here is the most underrated disease fighter we know of – sleep. It sounds too simple, yet it is true. Catching enough sleep during the night is detrimental to keeping your immune system up and running. More often than not people don’t sleep enough because of whatever reason. Nothing can compare to sleeping when it comes to reaping positive effects.

Enjoying sleeping
Let your body recover by sleeping 8 hours every night.

However, there are a few other variables that need to be taken into account. It also matters that you sleep in a quiet room where it’s dark. Having a light in the room will make your body believe that it’s daytime and therefore you won’t rest properly. Try dedicating 8 hours of your day just to sleep. You will not regret it.

Avoiding stress

Sadly, stress has become an unavoidable part of life. Tight work schedules, long shifts, relationship problems, politics… almost anything can cause stress if we let it do so. Stress can meddle with our immune system and cause problems, especially if we experience it every day. Therefore, find a stress releasing solution. Meditation can be a remedy. Spending some time in silence in a park or taking a hike somewhere in the hills can help you out too. The only thing that matters is giving your mind some rest.

Beautiful caucaisan young woman working out outdoors on blue mat. Jathara Parivartanasana top view
Doing yoga exercises outdoors is fantastic for lowering stress levels.

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/immune-system

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#shellfish

https://www.wimhofmethod.com/benefits-of-cold-showers

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