Natural ways to boost your immune system

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This year, staying healthy has been on everyone’s mind, to say the least. But what can you really do to help your body fight infections?

As it turns out, there are plenty of simple, everyday actions you can take to strengthen your immune system. Unsurprisingly, most of these behaviors are habits that doctors frequently suggest to boost your overall health and wellbeing as well. Makes sense, right?

Here are some of the top tips from experts to ensure that your body is at its best the next time you come down with a cold or flu.

Get enough sleep

As with so many health issues, one of the most effective ways to keep your immune system in fighting shape is to make sure you are well rested. Experts suggest getting a regular 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order to maximize your body’s ability to fight off infections. Keeping regular sleep hours can help, too. Try waking up and going to bed at the same times each day to keep your body in tip top shape.

Keep stress low

Believe it or not, your stress levels directly affect your capacity to prevent illness. If you tend to have high stress levels day-to-day, consider what you can do to cut down pressure in your life. For some people, that means adopting a meditation practice, staying more organized, or spending more time doing what they love. For others, it means cutting down on commitments to ensure that they have enough down time each day. If that seems extreme, just remember—your health is worth it!

Eat right

One of the best things you can do to help your body combat infection is to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need on a regular basis. There is no need to adopt a whole new diet. Just follow the basic principles of healthy eating. Eat natural, real foods, including plenty of vegetables, and enjoy lots of variety in your diet.

Avoid smoking and drink in moderation

It will likely come as no surprise that smoking is bad for your immune system, as it weakens key organs that defend your body against infection. As for drinking, experts say that a few drinks now and then are fine. However, moderation is key. To help your body stay at its best, binge drinking should be avoided.

Get (some) exercise

Exercise can be helpful to your immune system, but extreme workouts are not necessary. A little moderate activity each day is all your body needs to boost its reaction to infection. Consider getting out for a walk each day, biking to the store, or fitting in a quick 20-minute workout throughout the day.

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