The immune system is your defence against viruses and bacteria that destroy your body. If well-taken care of, it will guard you against diseases, enable you to brave tough environments and fast-track your recovery. Neglect it, and you will be susceptible to diseases—you’ll always feel exhausted and under the weather.
It is important, therefore, to take care of your immune system. There are several ways you can boost immunity and build a solid defence against stressors in your surroundings.
Practice Good Hygiene
You must help your immune system in fighting off germs by practising proper hygiene. Remember, some viruses and bacteria target parts of the immune system, so it’s important to keep them at bay.
Always wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly. This kills off the contaminants on your hands, so you won’t transfer them to your food or your face. Keep your environment clean, as well, whether that’s your office or room. This ensures that there are no possible breeding grounds for bacteria-carrying pests.
Cut Down on Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol and smoking are detrimental to your immune system. Alcohol, for instance, can damage the liver, cardiovascular system and digestive system. Specifically, it damages the epithelial cells in your intestines and makes it harder to absorb the nutrients needed to guard the body. Smoking also makes you more prone to pneumonia and influenza.
To limit alcohol intake, you can:
- Keep track of drinking habits – Dedicate a journal, so you have a clear picture of your drinking habits.
- Eat a meal before drinking – A full stomach would prevent you from drinking excessively.
- Drink slowly – Don’t take successive gulps; consume the drink slowly. Then, make every other sip a non-alcoholic drink, like water.
- Seek professional help – You can also talk to a professional at a private alcohol detox program for more effective ways to curb consumption.
To cut down on smoking, you can/should:
- Never quit abruptly – This is not a sustainable way to quit. Instead, cut down on cigarettes gradually.
- Set a goal – Set a measurable goal, for example, “I will smoke three fewer cigarettes this week.”
- Choose alternatives – Turn to healthier habits. For instance, instead of an after-dinner cigarette, go for a walk.
Stress, in healthy amounts, builds up your physical, mental and emotional tolerance. It keeps your body ready for a challenge. However, like all things, stress should be in moderation. Too much stress will compromise your immune system.
You can reduce the stress in your life by following the Four A’s—avoiding, altering, adapting and accepting.
- Avoid – If you can avoid a stressful situation, do so.
- Alter – If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to change it.
- Adapt – If you can’t change the stressful situation, try to adapt to the circumstances.
- Accept – If you can’t adapt, then just accept that some things can’t change.
These are just some of the things you can do to boost your immune system. It’s also advisable to follow a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Your sleep should not just be long but also deep and restful. Water is crucial—to keep your cells alive and well, eight glasses of water are needed. Above all, these habits should be life-long, not for a limited period, to make sure your bodily defence is strong and solid.