Five Ways To Protect Your Immune System
By Sarah Rudston, clinic assistant
It’s February, and temperatures have dropped across the country (you might even have seen some snow recently!). Colds, coughs, and other illnesses are unfortunately rife at this time of year, so we’re looking at some of the ways you can help protect your immune system and keep yourself healthy until warmer weather is upon us again.
Change Your Diet
Our immune systems function on our diet, and, if we don’t pay attention to what we eat, we could find ourselves in bad health in no time. A diet which is high in fat, sugars, caffeine and salt can damage your immune system’s ability to keep you healthy. By eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you can bolster your defences and keep yourself feeling well.
We all know that cigarettes are bad for us, however smokers may not know what effect each puff is having on their immune systems. Tobacco smoke can cause you to be more prone to infections such as pneumonia and influenza. It can also cause you to have illnesses which are more severe, and it’ll take you longer to get over them. There’ll also be lower levels of protective antioxidants in your blood as a result of smoking, such as Vitamin C. If you’re sticking to your new year’s resolution to quit, congratulations! If you need a little extra help, check out our stop smoking detox programme.
It’s been proven time and time again that exercise can have a hugely positive effect on your body, as well as its natural defences against disease. Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure and promote good circulation, all of which does wonders for your immune system. However, too much exercise can put strain on your body, and it’s important not to overdo it!
Get Adequate Sleep
In this day and age, it can be tempting to skip on sleep in order to check emails or pull all-nighters on an important piece of work. However, nothing is more important than your health, and if you’re getting insufficient sleep on a regular basis, you’ll be more likely to damage your health. Lack of sleep can compromise our body’s ability to fight off infections, so make sure you get your eight hours every night.
Take Time Out
Studies have shown that an increase in stress levels can go hand in hand with an increase of disease and infections. It’s no coincidence that we feel rundown when we’ve got a lot on our plates – feeling stressed out can lower the body’s defence to illness and make us less likely to fight off coughs and colds. It might not seem that easy to cut down on our workloads, however simple stress-relieving activities such as walking, swimming or meditating can really help. Have a look at our six-week meditation course and see how you can add a little extra relaxation to your life.
Take care of yourself and before you know it, we’ll have lighter evenings and warmer weather! All the best from us at The Natural Health Clinic, Bristol.