We’ve just passed the winter solstice and even Florida is feeling the chill. Apart from the pandemic and new variants, there are also other bugs and viruses around. This is the time to take extra precautions to boost your immune system.

Did you know that many common lifestyle habits can have a negative effect on the health of your immune system? A poor immune system can leave you more vulnerable to illnesses like the common cold and the flu and could even contribute to the development of more serious illnesses.

Replacing bad habits with healthy habits can bolster the strength and effectiveness of your immune system.

1. Exercise. Moderate exercise of only 30 minutes a day increases several factors in the immune system. The most important of these is your leukocyte count. These are the cells that fight infection. Sitting at a desk all day increases the odds of catching common ailments. Go to the gym or get out and take a brisk walk every day.

2. Avoid being overweight. Excess bodyweight is a marker for metabolic syndrome, a collection of conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. It can also increase likelihood of developing more serious health problems. Studies have shown that being overweight has a negative impact on the immune system.

3. Avoid sugar. Excess sugar consumption has a negative effect on the immune system’s effectiveness when dealing with bacteria. This effect can be seen after the consumption of as little as 75 grams of sugar and continues for at least a few hours.

4. Reduce stress. We’re all faced with a certain amount of stress in our lives. A small amount of stress is actually good for our health. However, excessive, chronic stress has a very negative impact on immune system health. When you’re stressed, you are much more likely to develop a variety of illnesses.

5. Laugh. Laughing is great for you. It decreases the level of stress hormones in your body. It also increases a specific type of white blood cell. Even the anticipation of experiencing something humorous has a very positive effect on the immune system.

6. Avoid social isolation. A strong social network is a great boost to both your mental and physical health. Your immune system is especially affected.

• Those with strong social connections and many close friends have a higher level of immunity than those that feel socially isolated.

• The feeling of loneliness can affect the way genes behave.

7. Get enough sleep. Most adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep to maintain good health. A lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of getting sick. Insomnia can increase inflammation in the body, which inhibits your immune system’s responsiveness.

8. Get a personalized nutrition plan for your body. Everyone’s body is different. There is no one-size-fits-all diet. Nutrition Response Testing® is a safe and non -invasive method of discovering what nutrients your body needs to help it heal.

Foods that are high in antioxidants and other nutrients boost the immune system. The best way to get all these nutrients is by eating fruits and vegetables. Ideally, fill at least half your plate with vegetables.

Boosting your immune system is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It has a significant impact on longevity. Implementing these tips will enhance your overall well-being, as well as helping your immune system

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