Falling into a Healthy Immune System

This fall, many people are concerned about maintaining a healthy immune system. Thankfully, there are many easy strategies that you can implement to help strengthen each part of your body that cooperatively works together to keep you safe from pathogens. Ultimately, if your body is getting what it needs to function at its best, then you will not only have a better chance at helping to keep short-term illnesses at bay but also reduce your likelihood of developing longer-term health complications and diseases.

Here are some simple steps that you can take to support a healthy immune system:

  • Prevent Infections – this includes activities such as handwashing, mask-wearing, social distancing, and regular and thorough cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces.
  • Reducing Stress – although it is impossible to avoid stressors, developing and implementing healthy coping mechanisms such as hobbies, spending time outdoors, exercising, connecting with other people, playing with pets, prayer, listening to music, and meditation can help you handle stress in a healthy manner.
  • Get Enough Sleep – strategies such as setting a regular bedtime and wake-up time each day can help, as can eliminating screen time for at least an hour prior to sleeping, and ensuring that your bedroom is as conducive as possible to supporting sleep can help you get enough sleep each night.
  • Exercise Regularly –the recommendation for exercise is at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week (150 minutes) of moderate exercise, but adding in additional activities such as bicycling, hiking, jogging, or sports, can help you enjoy exercise and provide a new hobby. Remember that housework and yard work can also count as exercise!
  • Cut Toxins – avoid tobacco products and recreational drugs, and either limit consumption of alcoholic drinks, or avoid altogether.
  • Drink Water – ensure proper hydration by drinking water throughout the day. Although the exact amount that you should drink will vary based on factors such as the level of physical activity, the general recommended amount of water consumed each day is about 64 ounces or around 2 liters.
  • Eat Clean – eat a healthy, balanced diet, that is rich in vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and whole grains, and that minimizes heavily processed, fatty, or sugary foods. Treats can be consumed in moderation, but a diet that is based on good nutrition is one that will help keep your body, mind, and emotions functioning at their best, along with your immune system.
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – just as your immune system is a combination of different parts of your body, so, too, does each aspect of what you do and put in your body each day affects your health. By maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, you will help your immune system help you in keeping you healthy.

Last updated May 14, 2021