Winter coincides with the cold and flu season. Although it's smart to take precautions such as washing your hands after spending time in a public place, complete germ avoidance is impractical. That's why keeping your immune system strong is so important for staying healthy during the winter months.
Get a Flu Vaccination
Suffering from the flu is very uncomfortable and causes serious health complications for some people. Getting a flu vaccination is a simple process that primes your immune system to ward off the flu virus.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Lack of sleep suppresses the immune system. In fact, insufficient sleep reduces the effectiveness of flu vaccinations because the body develops fewer antibodies to these vaccines. Studies show that plenty of sleep is required for maintaining a healthy T-cell count and for keeping inflammatory cytokines in check. A healthy immune system requires a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night.
Avoid Excessive Stress
Chronic stress reduces the production of T-cells, which are vital for proper immune function. Stress can also keep you awake at night, which further weakens the immune system since it requires plenty of sleep. There are a number of ways to keep stress in check. These include meditation, exercise, healthy relationships, breathing exercises, hobbies and maintaining an optimistic outlook.
Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine
Consistent moderate exercise directly boosts immune function. It also improves your immune system indirectly by reducing stress and improving the quality of your sleep. You need not join fancy exercise gyms or spend money on expensive equipment if you don't want to. Adhering to a simple walking routine is all that's necessary.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Your body cannot maintain itself without the building materials it requires. The same is true of your immune system. These building materials can only be provided through a well-balanced diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and foods with quality protein provide the basis for a healthy diet.
The tar and other chemicals present in cigarette smoke reduces the ability of the immune system to fight infections and disease. Smokers also have more complications from getting the flu than nonsmokers. In addition, smokers are seven times more vulnerable to influenza infection than nonsmokers.
Immune system maintenance is a year round and lifelong endeavor. A strong immune system enhances your health and increases life expectancy. A long history of good health also makes you less of an insurance risk, which means you may pay lower health insurance premiums.
Your health is our priority. Call Illinois Insurance Associates at 630-362-5915 for more information on health insurance.