Open Accessibility Menu

Give Your Immune System What It Needs to Keep you Healthy!

Published in Family Medicine, Urgent Care, Infectious Diseases, For the Health of It Author: Ethan Novacinski,PA-C

The holidays are here and the last thing you want is to feel miserable or to miss out on fun gatherings. Your immune system does a great job of keeping you healthy on its own, but did you know there a several ways to help it perform optimally to keep those unpleasant viruses at bay?

Why is Your Immune System Important?

A strong and healthy immune system is your body’s best defense against common viruses, but when your immune system cannot effectively recognize and fight off viruses, you become more susceptible to them. Nobody wants to experience the discomfort of having a cold or the flu. While it might be unavoidable at times, there are instances where we can prevent it. This is where a few healthy lifestyle habits can play a big part in supporting your immune system.

Get Vaccinated: Staying up to date on your vaccines is the first important step in helping your immune system fight off harmful viruses. To learn more about the vaccines you and your family may need use this resource.

Eat a Balanced Diet: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats will provide you with the nutrients and energy to support your immune system. Putting emphasis on a healthy diet will also help you improve your physical and mental well-being. Our heart healthy eating plan can get you there.

Stay Hydrated: The best way to stay hydrated is by drinking water throughout the day to help your immune system function properly. Try adding more water-rich foods to your diet such as fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, beans and oatmeal. Excessive alcohol consumption can also weaken your immunity and have a detrimental effect on your mental health, so drink in moderation.

Maintain an Active Lifestyle: Find a physical activity you enjoy — there is no limit. Whether it’s going to the gym, going for a walk or joining a sports league, the more it interests you, the more likely you’ll be able to stick with it! Physical activity will help you sleep better, reduce stress and help your immune cells move throughout your body.

Prioritize Your Sleep: It is crucial to set a sleep schedule. The recommended adequate sleep duration varies by age, but the average for adults is about seven hours per night. It is best to limit your screen time and to find different calming activities before bed such as journaling or meditating.

Practice Good Hygiene: Washing your hands throughout the day is a critical step you can take to prevent your chance of developing an illness this season. Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes and mouth.

Reduce Stress: Chronic stress can lead to increased inflammation in your body, weakening your immune system. Stress can also have a significant impact on your sleep and mental well-being. Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical health. Seeking mental health support, such as counseling or therapy, can help you manage your stress effectively. Engaging in hobbies that bring you joy or adopting stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation or yoga will help you feel more relaxed.

These routine healthy lifestyle habits can help your immune system do its job protecting you from illness and can be the reason you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally!