The human body is a beautiful thing, made up of myriads of different little parts and systems, trillions of cells, all working together to create this thing we call life. Even though the body is designed to grow, protect and repair itself, it’s important for us to provide it with the right conditions to do so by maintaining all-around good health and fitness.
The immune system — made up of our white blood cells, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, mucous membranes, and much more — is a mega network of organs and cells designed to protect us from foreign substances like bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. As it is such a large and complex system, there really isn’t any one magic pill or elixir we can take to sort of enhance or replace it, rather we should aim to take care of our bodies as a whole. The magic is already in us — we are the magic.
The magic is already in us — we are the magic.
We can and should, however, take steps to help our bodies out, especially when our environment becomes more conducive to catching and spreading illnesses.
Here are just seven simple ways to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape, so it can do its thing and you can do yours:
- Hydration – Blood carries nutrients throughout our body, and our blood stream (no pun intended) is mostly made up of water. It also helps flush toxins out of the body.
- Healthy diet – The body needs a healthy, varied diet to get all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Although whole foods are best (especially fruits and vegetables), food supplements can also be a great way to help get the nutrients needed.
- Proper sleep – The body restores itself during sleep, including by releasing certain proteins and other immune cells that fight germs in the body. Think of it as daily — or rather nightly — detoxing.
- Regular exercise – Besides helping you sleep better and have less stress, exercise helps pump more blood throughout the body, moving along nutrients and immune cells, as well as flushing out toxins.
- Hand washing – Quite simply, washing your hands removes germs from your hands before they enter the body, typically through our eyes, nose and mouth.
- Less stress – Prolonged or chronic stress releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol at unhealthy levels which actually shuts the immune system down, as this isn’t immediately necessary for life in fight-or-flight mode. Keeping unhealthy stress low helps the whole body (and mind) run smoother.
- Fresh air – Some germs can linger in the air, entering our body when we breathe them in, in addition to all the other harmful substances in stale or polluted air (including things we breathe out). We need fresh air like we do clean water.
The name of the game here is balance (i.e. homeostasis), the state our bodies are constantly working to achieve and thrive in. Taking a holistic approach offers the most benefits, not just for our immune systems, but our health and well-being in general. Remember: it’s not just about preventing illness, but living our best, healthiest lives possible!