As the seasons change, people are generally more susceptible to colds and flu. That’s why we always talk about the immune system and ways to boost it. If you live in a country with more than one season you’ll recognise it – one day everyone seems to be okay, nekminnit everyone is down with the flu, and it lasts for a few weeks.
So how does one guard themselves from getting the flu frequently? The yearly vaccination is a good thing, for a start. However, this is not guaranteed to protect you from the less common strains that are moving around. There is another way – by focusing on simple, healthy habits. Without further ado, here are some things you can do to minimise your chances of getting the flu.
Ha, of course you saw this coming. After all, this blog is fitness-focused, and proudly so! Seriously though, making workouts a part of your weekly regimen can boost your immune system. You see, working out increases the heart rate and increases the amount of blood moving within the system. As such, pathogens may actually be flushed out of your lungs. Furthermore, it allows white blood cells to circulate faster, allowing your immune system to detect illnesses more rapidly.
Two: Get Sufficient Rest
This is something which many people, particularly in western countries, tend to overlook. This is exacerbated even more with the promotion of TV shows and on-demand systems. The temptation to stay up watching them is great, and this comes at the expense of a good nights’ rest. But resist it. You may not like this, but research has shown that irregular sleep can cause chaos with regards to your immune system, allowing you to pick up the germs more easily.
Three: “Y” Is For Yoghurt
You have probably heard of yoghurt being lauded as having plenty of good bacteria i.e. probiotics, right? The point that is often highlighted is that these good bacteria can help with your digestive health. What is often overlooked is that they are also good at strengthening the body’s immune system and therefore helping you to keep infection at bay. So yes, go for it!
Four: “T”, Or Tea
Green tea, black tea, chamomile, etc etc…. There are so many types of tea, aren’t there. Just like in the yoghurt example, we have heard of teas being healthy due to being packed full of antioxidants that can deal with harmful free radicals. However, there is more to this. Naturally occurring chemicals in tea called alkylamines can strengthen the immune system to help it fight off infection. So be a little bit British and start drinking it.
Five: Lemon, Ginger, Honey, Garlic, Turmeric
Ok, I got lazy and didn’t want to expand on each of the above ingredients. It turns out that I don’t actually need to because they work via mechanisms that do not differ too much. You might have learnt before that some of the items on the point above is great for colds and flu. I have checked the research and they are, at the very least, anecdotally true. So why not include them?
Oi youleh, live a little, or a lot! You have heard that laughter is the best medicine. While that may not be true, it is a good medicine at the very least. Research conducted about a decade ago has actually demonstrated that laughter is good for the immune system. No one knows whether it is a direct cause and effect, but in theory we do know that laughter and a positive attitude can help with the other points on this list, so that makes it at least anecdotally true.
Seven: Get Some Sun
I’m not sure where in the world you live, but if there is sufficient sunlight, get some of it. There is a reason why, at least in the western world, there is an emphasis on getting some sunlight. Not only does it lighten your mood, but vitamin D is known to boost the immune system. Of course, do take caution in the summer, as too much UV radiation can result in sunburn or cancer.
So how did you find this list? Chances are that you are probably already doing some of them but there is room for improvement. As for the rest, why not give them a go? You have nothing to lose and better health to gain. Stay healthy, stay safe.
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