In times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is stick to the basics: good self-care. Consistently taking care of your body is the foundation from which you can build a stronger, healthier immune system. Once you are regularly adhering to the below tips, talk to your pharmacist about adding in targeted supplements for an overall and immune-building approach that can help, not only now, but year-round to improve your body’s natural defenses.
A Strong Foundation
Stress, no matter the source or cause, has a huge impact on our immune system. Things like gentle movement, meditation and breathing techniques are proven to help decrease daily stress. Dedicate some time during your day to regularly try one or all of these techniques. Just a few minutes every day can make a huge difference in your overall well-being!
Just like stress, the amount and quality of sleep we get has a direct impact on our immune function. Practice good sleep hygiene by turning off screens at least one hour before bed, make sure your room is cool, dark and quiet. And most importantly, try to stick to a regular, consistent bedtime and your body (and mind) will thank you for it.
Moderate, regular physical activity helps boost immune system function in a number of incredible ways. It raises levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies while increasing circulation and decreasing stress hormones. Exercise has also been shown to help improve cognitive and physical resilience. Just a 30 minute walk can have an immediate effect on lowering blood pressure and improving your mood!
It’s no secret that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is the foundation of a healthy diet. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables have been shown to boost immunity better than supplements. However, make sure that you’re also consuming minimal amounts of processed sugar in order to reap the most benefits from your healthy choices.
Water, broths, and tea are all fantastic ways to increase your hydration. Carry a water bottle with you to try and prevent dehydration throughout the day. You can also make hot water infusions by combining things like lemon, honey and cinnamon for a comforting drink. As often as you can, choose these type of drinks over sugary sodas (including diet sodas), sweet tea, or alcoholic beverages when trying to stay hydrated.
Once you have a firm foundation, there are additional supplements, nutrients and foods to add on that have been linked to improved immune function:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
Remember, there is no quick fix to building a strong immune system. Keep your immune system strong by following the steps above and talk to a pharmacist before adding any supplements to your routine!