Our body’s natural defense system, the immune system, keeps us healthy by fighting off bacteria, viruses and a variety of destructive cells. Regardless of our age, there are several steps we can take to help strengthen our immune system and enhance our health.
Here are 7 simple ways to keep our immune system in shape:
1. Eating a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to improve the immune system. These foods contain phytonutrients, carotenoids and flavonoids, along with many important vitamins and antioxidants. These compounds increase the production of white blood cells, the cells which fight infection, destroy unhealthy cells, and protect healthy cells.
2. Rest Easy
A good night’s sleep is fundamental to maintaining proper health. Numerous studies have shown that sleep deprivation is directly linked to a greater susceptibility to a variety of diseases. These range from relatively minor problems, like the common cold, to relatively major problems, like cardiovascular disease, to extremely dangerous diseases, like cancer.
3. Stay Fit
Exercise benefits run the gamut, from keeping our cardiovascular system in shape to reducing stress, and more. But exercise has also been linked to an improved immune system. It increases the production of the specific cells that fight infection.
4. Get a Flu Shot
It is important to get a flu shot each year. Particularly for those at risk of complications due to the flu, such as the elderly, infants, and people with a weakened immune system, immunization is especially important. For the elderly population flu shots and pneumonia vaccines are almost always recommended.
Although the best time to get a flu shot is in October (the beginning of the flu season), the season runs through March, and it is still worthwhile to be vaccinated.
5. Wash Your Hands
Most bacteria and viruses enter the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Consequently, it is important to avoid touching these parts of our body, especially after being around other people. It is also recommended for to wash our hands frequently with a ger- killing, antibacterial soap.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a proper body weight is a fundamental aspect of maintaining good health, for a variety of reasons. In many cases, people are overweight due to the fact that they eat large amounts of food with low nutritional content. Since our bodies use the food we eat to create compounds that protect our health, foods low in nutritional content do not provide our bodies with the compounds required to fight infection and disease.
7. Stay Away From Smoke
It goes without saying that cigarettes contribute to the weakening of our immune system. But it is important to remember that even if you don’t smoke, secondhand smoke can contribute to an asthma attack, or help turn a simple cold into bronchitis. If someone is smoking in your vicinity, it is important to either move away from them or ask them to stop.
At Laurel Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center, in the scenic beach town of Keansburg, NJ, we designed a short-term rehabilitation program whose goal is to get our patients back to their optimal level of functioning and independence as quickly as possible. We provide a tailored program of physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as all types of specialized care under one roof.
Or better yet, come see for yourself. Contact us to schedule a tour by clicking here or by calling (372) 787-8100.