We alone define our wellbeing. The way we choose to live is the way we choose our health to be.
There are of course many factors that are out of our control. Genetic factors, for example. Yet, we are able to make significant changes no matter what diseases stand in our family history.
Whether they are going to manifest or not depends to a great extent on the way we live, what we do, what we eat, what air we breathe in. The greater our knowledge about a disease is, the better our chances are to prevent it.
It is the same with our immune system. The lifestyle we lead influences the function of the countless immune cells that guard our well-being.
Even simple changes matter and we are responsible to do our best in it.
1. Keep your room well ventilated
Don’t forget that just opening your window is the best way to enrich your home with fresh, clean air.
Especially in the colder months, most people tend to keep the windows closed to preserve energy. Ironically, it is in the colder months when viral and bacterial infections are ubiquitous.
By keeping your space ventilated, you ensure that you keep the airborne viruses and bacteria out!
2. Don`t forget to move
Practice any kind of sport that suits you.
Humans are made to move around. For the most part of our existence on this planet, the supermarket never existed and we needed to grow, harvest and cook our food every day. This is a lot of movement in itself.
So instead of searching the internet for the latest gizmo to save you some effort, choose the stairs and not the elevator.
Because it is essential that we continue to be active as long as we can through our life. Age is not an excuse.
Actually, why is movement so important to the proper function of our immune system?
- You are increasing your breathing capacity. Any kind of exercise deepens and intensifies your breathing. More air entering your lungs means that more oxygen is transferred into your blood. Oxygen is a vital fuel for your cells and by ‘feeding’ them you will not only boost your immune system but will feel more energized
- The exhalation process also becomes deeper. This allows you to force out all the ‘old’ air that is staying still deep in the lungs. By deep breathing, in essence, you purify your lungs and help prevent infections of the respiratory tract.
- Sport stimulates the release of a hormone endorphin, which leads to a feeling of excitement and satisfaction. Practicing any kind of sport enhances your vitality and self-esteem. And there is healthy body needs a healthy psyche.
- It is proven that physical exercises improve your heart function and blood flow.
Don’t overdo it
There are different forms of movement is it gymnastics, just walking, doing some work in the garden or a more active form like running, cycling, swimming and so on. Just choose the type of movement your body likes and you feel comfortable doing it. Only this way it will bring you pleasure and won`t turn itself to be the next work you have to do. You have to ENJOY IT!
Remember, you should not exhaust yourself in order to stay healthy and improve the work of your immune system. Light but consistent exercise is better than none or sporadic. For example, an average of 30 to 45-minute walk daily can reduce the risk of pulmonary infections by 50%. So start walking or use your bike whenever it is possible.
You have to know how to relax. It is essential to know how to reduce the level of stress so that you can avoid its harmful effect on your body. Stress causes the release of some hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the blood flow. They suppress the immune response, making us more prone to different bacterial or viral infections.
Find your way to relax and practice it! Is it practising yoga, just reading a favourite book, or taking a shower, listening to music, aromatherapy and so on, do it!
Make your mind and body feel calm and relaxed.
3. Look for the bright side
Try to make your attitude towards life more positive.
The way we perceive our surroundings is very important. It is considered that optimists live several years longer as pessimists do.
Always expecting the worst or having gloomy thoughts is a type of stress for the organism as well. Stress that impairs your immune system. And the opposite, optimists tend to have a better immune response and more reliable defenses against pathogens.
4. Laugh as often as possible
Laughter has a positive influence on the body. When people laugh sincerely endorphins are released which causes energy rush. Our stress level is reduced and our mood is elevated.
Honest laughter also increases the activity of the white blood cells, which are responsible for our immune defense.
So, be proactive and seek those experiences that make you laugh. Your body will thank you.
5. Be social on your own terms
The need for social interaction is hardwired into our brain. As humans, we need the attention and support we receive from other people.
However, you need to find your social sweet spot. Ask yourself when and with who you feel energized and when people overwhelm you.
Seek those relationships and social interactions that make you truly happy. That makes you laugh. You know your body will thank you for it.
By having meaningful and fulfilling relationships you derive pleasure from them and not induce stress on your body and immune system.
6. Sleep enough
The general consensus is to have 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Some people feel OK with only 6 or 5 hours of sleep. There is not a common rule but it is important to sleep enough and give your body the time it needs to rest.
By sleeping, we recharge our batteries and restart our system. Otherwise, we feel tired, sometimes even angry and stressed.
Stress suppresses our immune system. So no matter how much work you have left to do just Go to bed! Your body deserves it! Give it a new, fresh start!
7. Go get yourself a pet
If you already don’t have a pet, consider getting yourself one!
A lot of research shows that people who have pets tend to be healthier. Pets brighten their owners’ mood and reduce stress level. This only makes them priceless.
Pets can boost your immune system by ensuring you exercise regularly.
By having a dog, for example, ensures that you get your daily dose of exercise. Say that a dog needs to go for a walk for at least 15 minutes twice a day. This means that you are walking for 30 minutes, the recommended daily physical activity.
Pets can help you relax and replenish your defenses.
Petting an animal is known to have a calming effect on your body.
Cat’s purring is also known for its calming effect. It stimulates the release of serotonin which is known as the hormone of happiness. And we know now that happiness and relaxation are immunostimulants in themselves.
Pets are good friends too.
Pets are always there for you. They are always ready to provide the love you need.
Pets can be a constant source of joy if you really love them.
And who will not want their personal never-ending joy reservoir at home?
Go find your priceless joy source if it hasn’t found you yet!