Our bodies are fascinating. We're all cocktails, more or less, of bones, cells, blood and incredibly wonderful systems that balance our everyday lives. And while our bodies are amazingly adaptive, few things like a compromised immune system can be more troublesome.
What is the immune system?
Think of your immune system as an elaborate headquarters that monitors and recalls every germ that's come your way. There are white blood cells, red blood cells, antibodies, and proteins...a whole army of biological "warriors" that disarm and destroy foreign bodies, microbes, bacteria and viruses. Moreover, there are your tonsils, skin, spleen and lymph nodes that work together to remove threats and toxins from your body. In layman's terms, the immune system is one of your body's many defense systems.
And most of the time the immune system does its job...
The immune system in most people is amazingly resilient. Day in and out, it rises to the occasion and gives you more good days than sick days. But you might notice that certain times of the year, places and seasons of life find you more sick and crummy than others.
But some habits and lifestyles can hinder the immune system
If you just can't kick a marathon of colds, or you're feeling more and more susceptible to illness, chances are:
- You're not sleeping as much as you need to
- You might be eating more sugar and artificial foods than recommended
- You're not supplementing with On-Set when you notice the first symptoms of an oncoming cold
- You may be battling other chronic diseases or conditions
- You're not keeping up with a routine physical activity routine
- You could be consuming alcohol or other substances that strain your body
- You're juggling complex deadlines, work demands, and stressful relationships
- You're not allowing yourself proper recovery times
- You could be more intentional about proactive measures such as sanitizing, getting vaccines or working remotely
- You may be frequenting common public spaces like schools, malls, hospitals, airports or gyms during peak flu season
- You might be experiencing allergies, drastic weather changes or other environmental factors
So here's how to support a strong, healthy immune system
First of all, review that list above. Is anything hitting home? Start there. Sometimes the most valuable thing you could be doing is just changing your posture from reactionary to proactive. In other words, don't wait for your immune system to go haywire, keep a strong offense. Set your life up with productive, intentional measures that can help your immune system stay in top shape for the times it needs to really kick in.
- Don't smoke or drink
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Consume a healthy diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, and natural supplements
- Schedule routine checkups with your family doctor
- Take a personal day from time to time
- More sleep time, less screen time
It might sound grossly simplified, but a major hack for staying well is doing everything you can to not get sick in the first place. So, do your immune system a favor, and fight the good fight right alongside it!